Arturo Sandoval joins the Dayton Philharmonic for SuperPops
By Rusty Pate
In jazz circles, the trumpet holds a place of distinction. Just as the electric guitar defines rock music and the mandolin always seems to find its way into the hands of pioneering bluegrass pickers, the trumpet stands as the weapon of choice for many jazz legends.
From Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis and Dizzy Gillespie, the instrument’s unique timbre can cut through and soar over any ensemble – when in the right hands.
Arturo Sandoval certainly has that ability.
Born in Cuba in 1949, Sandoval was classically trained before turning his attention to jazz. He has won numerous Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards and even an Emmy. He has performed with Celine Dion, Justin Timerlake and Alica Keys. The 2000 HBO film “For Love or Country,” starring Andy Garcia, told his life story. He is universally recognized as not only one of the top Cuban-born musicians ever, but as a titan in the modern jazz world.
Sandoval will join the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for two Latin-inspired evenings on Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1 at Schuster Center. Assistant conductor Patrick Reynolds said the program promises to be a passionate and lively affair.
Reynolds recently talked with the Dayton City Paper about the program’s repertoire, Sandoval’s place in the jazz pantheon and the versatility required of the Philharmonic for their SuperPops series.
What has been your experience with Arturo Sandoval’s music as a fan? What makes him so special?
Arturo Sandoval is one of the great Latin jazz trumpet players of all time. I’ve known his work for probably 20 years. I actually went to one of his classes at a music festival and listened to him talk and listened to him teach. He is a remarkable musician. He is a versatile musician. He does everything, but his specialty is Latin, salsa and jazz. – Patrick Reynolds
Does incorporating this type of music with the Philharmonic present any challenges?
These days, what we call classical musicians are very versatile musicians. The musician of 2014, the kid that’s coming through college right now that’s studying to be a professional, they need to be able to play the classical repertoire, the rock repertoire, the jazz repertoire, the Broadway repertoire – they’ve got to be able to do it all. There’s just more and more and more music that’s being asked of us. All of these players in the Dayton Philharmonic are well trained in accompanying jazz musicians and we do rock concerts, too. We can play anything. – PR
The trumpet has long been an iconic instrument in jazz. Where does Sandoval fit in that lineage?
The 20th century jazz trumpet is filled with all kinds of big names – from Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Maynard Ferguson, Freddy Hubbard – the list goes on and on and on. You just add to that legacy someone like Arturo Sandoval. He’s right at the top of a string of very famous names. – PR
What can the audience expect from this concert?
The entire program has a Latin/Caribbean/Spanish flavor to it, really from start to finish. The first half is the Dayton Philharmonic by itself. That first piece and the last piece of the first half are both the really classic Mexican-folk inspired tunes. They’re hot, exciting, really terrific pieces. After intermission, Arturo Sandoval will join the Philharmonic, and he will also bring his own band with him as well. What I love about this repertoire – I love the rhythms, I love the energy and I love the excitement. This is hot, intense music. It’s fun to play; it is fun to listen to. It’s going to be a great concert. – PR
Kettering Health Network SuperPops Series and The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra present An Evening with Arturo Sandoval on Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1 at 8 p.m. at the Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St. Tickets range from $21 to $76. For more information, please visit daytonperformingarts.org.
Reach DCP freelance writer Rusty Pate at RustyPate@DaytonCityPaper.com