There is an energy, depth and graciousness of living, and great love of music and mentoring shared in the life and performances of Arturo Sandoval. It's my pleasure to celebrate that with you, again, in this ENCORE PERFORMANCE post.
I love magic, in all its forms. The unexpected with good outcomes is exciting and fun. When the magic is created in a musical performance then the feelings I experience are wonder and joy.
When something is done so well that it delights you, and then you realize there’s even more to it than what first appeared, there is magic. It goes beyond technical prowess, well-honed talent, and achieving expert status in the craft. Magic in musical performance happens because all of those elements are in there, of course, and then true passion for the music is added. And, presto, the alchemy takes place.
Buffalo, New York is a city that is not, often enough, described as a place of magic. But, I have seen it there several times. It has always been home to internationally respected musicians as well as a welcoming host to fine talents from everywhere around the world. In several of the many varied and inclusive venues there have been wondrous performances through the years. Kleinhan’s Music Hall, considered “one of the most acoustically perfect halls in the world” is a place where I have witnessed seemingly impossible musical feats.
Kleinhan’s main auditorium, designed to “resemble the body of a string instrument,” became my favorite concert hall beginning with the yearly performances by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for students of the city’s public schools. It was one of those places accepted as much for date nights as for attending with family, or a group of friends, or even by yourself—you were never alone once the music started.
The night of Arturo Sandoval’s concert in the early 2000s, I and a friend sat amid the crowd but soon there were only the musicians on stage and the electrified atmosphere that can be experienced when Mr. Sandoval brings trumpet to lips. Driving tempos, haunting melodies, swinging standards, new and older songs from Cuba, South America, the States; they were all proffered and readily accepted. And, there were soaring solos, during which highs and lows of musical ranges were defied and conquered. A special show and then some was delivered as expected.
Then, the unexpected for me—the trumpet was placed in its stand, not to be replaced with flugelhorn or even with hand-held mike for one of his quite-good vocals. Instead, Arturo Sandoval walked to the piano and took a seat. Lots of musicians play more than their primary instrument and do a nice job of it, although, to my thinking each player doing what he or she does best results in them giving their finest presentation. Mr. Sandoval gave me a whole new perspective on that thinking.
He played with ability and style and it would have been a good listen with moments of considerable virtuosity but for that extra ingredient that he brought to it all, a profound passion. His love for the piano was evident and immediately poured into his performance and the magic of it thrilled us all.
Arturo Sandoval has won several awards for his musicianship, recordings, and compositions and his life is written about and even featured in a movie. He is undoubtedly a trumpeter of the greatest stature. And yet, when speaking to acclaimed pianist, Marian McPartland, who praised his piano playing on his album My Passion for the Piano, he said, “From the bottom of my heart, the best time is when I sit in front of the piano. The piano helps me put my soul in peace with my mind.” I would only add, the piano brings out a bit of the magician in him as well.
Listen as Arturo Sandoval shares his Passion for the Piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9Nnm8bQpJc
And here he is with his musical mentor, friend, and the man he credits with helping him defect from Cuba to the USA, Dizzy Gillespie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xncznvkB7S8&list=RDxncznvkB7S8#t=92
Here is a track with Arturo Sandoval on trumpet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0Tmv5IQvu8&list=RDD0Tmv5IQvu8#t=11
In Arturo Sandoval’s words:
“I want to be remembered as a guy who loved music - all kinds of good music - and helped bring that love of music into children’s lives.”
He has backed those words with real action. ASI is the Arturo Sandoval Institute. The mission statement is “…to Educate, Support and Inspire music students to continue music education without regard to their economic circumstances. Providing scholarships, instruments, concerts, clinics, master classes and financial support.”
Here is more information on ASI: http://arturosandovalinstitute.org/
And Didja Know This?
Interested horn players: the Sandovalves Phase III are all brass, and you can check them out here: https://sandovalves.com/
Posted by Diane Taber