Jazz great Arturo Sandoval to play at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Jazz great Arturo Sandoval to play at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, founding member of the Grammy Award-winning group Irakere, brings his explosive mixture of jazz, classical, rock and Cuban styles to Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Friday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. A pre-concert Art to Heart discussion with Brian Torff, director of Fairfield University's Music and Jazz Program, will take place from 7 to 7:40 p.m.

The concert is part of the Quick Center's season-long Jazz Tribute Project, which will include future performances by vocalist Diane Schuur and evenings celebrating the music of jazz legends Dexter Gordon and Stephane Grappelli.

A protégé of master Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval was born in Artemisa, a small town on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba, in 1949, just two years after Gillespie began injecting Latin influences into American jazz. The younger trumpeter began studying classical music at the age of 12, but quickly fell in love with the myriad possibilities found in jazz.

In his early performing days, Sandoval, who was fast becoming a prime guardian of jazz trumpet and flugel horn, helped found Irakere, which continued the tradition of blending jazz, rock, classical and Latin. He left the group in 1981 to form his own band and toured Europe and Latin America before he sought political asylum in the United States in 1990. He has been a citizen since 1999 and he and his family now live in Miami, Fla.

Sandoval's mastery garnered praise in his native Cuba, where he was named best instrumentalist from 1982 through 1990, and throughout the world. He has been nominated for 12 Grammy Awards and has won four.

"Arturo Sandoval is the sort of virtuoso artist who comes along only once or twice in a generation," said a London Evening Star reviewer.

While still in Cuba, Sandoval performed with the Cuban Orchestra of Modern Music and was presented as a guest artist with the BBC Symphony in London and the Leningrad Symphony in Russia. Since his defection, he has increased his classical performances worldwide, including appearances with the National Symphony, the Los Angeles Symphony and the London Symphony.

In addition to guest artist performances. Sandoval has played with many other jazz legends, including Woody Herman, Woody Shaw, Herbie Hancock, Stan Getz and Tony Bennett. He can also be heard on his own 10 solo albums and on recordings with Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra and Paul Anka, among others.

In his recordings, Sandoval has gone where few jazz artists fear to tread, most notably on "My Passion for the Piano," for which he put aside his trumpet and showed remarkable prowess with a collection of originals and standards he played on the piano.

On "Trumpet Evolution," he again tested his limits, paying tribute to 19 jazz trumpet greats - from Louis Armstrong and Gillespie to Chet Baker and Miles Davis - by recreating their specific tones with precision and grace. Critics and audiences were amazed by the effort.

He "performs a miracle and then repeats it 19 times," said the Miami Herald.

Sandoval understands his role as a jazz mentor, having lectured and taught internationally at the Conservatoire de Paris and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in the former Soviet Union. He is a full-time, tenured professor at Florida International University, maintaining one of the most extensive educational programs in the industry.

Tickets are $35 and $30. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit www.quickcenter.com.

Posted On: 01-21-2005 10:01 AM

Volume: 37 Number: 143