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Arturo Sandoval: 1949—: Jazz Trumpeter Biography

Studied Classical Trumpet, Stayed In Cuba For Family's Sake, Broadened Musical Horizons

Arturo Sandoval: 1949—: Jazz trumpeter.

Described respectively by reviewers in Billboard as "pushing the limits of his instrument," in The All Music Guide as "technically flawless," and in the Baltimore Sun as "a powerhouse," jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval ranked among Cuba's most exciting musical exports of the late twentieth century. As founder and member of the Cuban supergroup Irakere, Sandoval attracted international attention in the 1970s and 1980s in spite of the limitations on contact with the outside world put in place by Cuba's Communist dictatorship. Since coming to the United States in 1989, Sandoval has been a fixture of the Latin jazz circuit and has broadened his musical reach into new areas.

Sandoval was born on November 6, 1949, in Havana, Cuba, and grew up in the nearby small town of Artemisa. The son of an auto mechanic, he was, as he told London's Financial Times, "a musician in a non-musical family." He dropped out of school at age twelve, taught himself to play the trumpet, and joined a local ensemble, playing the traditional Cuban music called son, the Afro-Cuban hybrid that underlies many contemporary Latin styles. When he was lucky enough to be able to lay hands on a piano, a rarity in desperately poor rural Cuba, he worked on that instrument as well.

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