Presidential Medal of Freedom Honoree
Wins Latin Grammy® for
Best Traditional Tropical Album
“I am so grateful to President Obama, the Recording Academy and to my music peers for honoring me with these two fantastic awards,” said Sandoval. “I am truly blessed that people in the United States and around the world enjoy the talent that God has given me and found me deserving of these honors.
In presenting the Medal of Freedom to Sandoval, who was accompanied by his wife, Marianela, their two sons, Leonel and Tury, their wives and two granddaughters, Paloma and Lola, the President’s introduction read, "As a young man in Cuba, Arturo Sandoval loved jazz so much it landed him in jail. It was the Cold War and the only radio station where he could hear jazz was the Voice of America, which was dangerous to listen to. But Arturo listened anyway . . .today Arturo is an American citizen and one of most celebrated trumpet players in the world."
President Obama further won over the Sandoval family by playfully writing and signing a note for Arturo’s younger granddaughter that read: “Please excuse Lola from school – she was with me.” Sandoval called the warm gesture and the smile on Lola’s face “priceless.”
Sandoval is now a 10-time Grammy® winner, with 19 nominations. He also has received six Billboard Awards and an Emmy for the score of the HBO movie based on his life, For Love or Country, starring Andy Garcia.
The trumpeter’s soon-to-be-released memoir, The Man That Changed My Life, chronicles his relationship with his friend and mentor Dizzy Gillespie. With the help of Gillespie, Arturo and his family made their flight to freedom in 1990. Since then he has recorded 19 albums, including his first, Flight to Freedom, I Remember Clifford, Time for Love and his two most recent Grammy winners, Tango Como Yo Te Siento and Dear Diz: Everyday I Think of You. The current Grammy winner, Un Siglo De Pasión, is a tribute to the Fuentes family, renowned cigar makers.
Celebrating the Christmas season, Arturo has released a new CD, I Want to Wish You A Merry Christmas and his work is featured as the title song for the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation, Christmas in Conway, which stars Andy Garcia, Mary-Louise Parker and Mandy Moore. The movie premieres on ABC-TV on Sunday, December 1, 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm.
More on Arturo Sandoval
Sandoval is also a renowned classical musician, performing regularly with leading symphony orchestras from around the world. He has composed his own Concerto for Trumpet & Orchestra, which can be heard on Arturo Sandoval: The Classical Album. He recorded John Williams’ Trumpet Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and his classical artistry has earned him the respect and admiration from the most prestigious conductors, composers and symphony orchestras worldwide.
Arturo Sandoval’s versatility can be heard on recordings with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Woody Shaw, Michel Legrand, Bill Conti, and Stan Getz to Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, Rod Stewart and Alicia Keys, among many others. He has performed with John Williams with the Boston Pops, and in the Super bowl with Tony Bennett and Patti LaBelle.
His compositions can also be heard on Dave Grusin’s soundtrack for Havana and Random Heart, in the Mambo Kings soundtrack with his Grammy-nominated composition Mambo Caliente, in the soundtrack of The Perez Family, 61, Mr. Wrong, the documentary Oscar, and The Family Fuentes, among of others. He also was commissioned by the Kennedy Center to compose the music for the ballet Pepito’s Story, Soul Possessed, as well as Oman Oh Man and The Chocolate Hot Nutcracker, choreographed by Debbie Allen.
Arturo Sandoval reaches beyond the scope of mere effort. His struggles while in Cuba, and since his defection, have given him more energy and strength, urging him to accomplish and surpass his childhood dreams. Filled with a virtuoso capability, he desires nothing more than to share his gift with others who feel the same intense adoration for music as he does. One frequently speaks of Arturo Sandoval’s virtuoso technical ability or his specialty in high notes, but he who has seen him on the piano, lyrically improvising a ballad, or has had the opportunity to enjoy the diversity of his music, through his compositions from the most straight ahead jazz, Latin jazz or classical, knows that Arturo Sandoval is a prominent musician, and one recognizes that Arturo is one of the most brilliant, multifaceted and renowned musicians of our time.
For more information on Arturo Sandoval and his music, please visit www.arturosandoval.com. To view Arturo’s performance at the Medal of Freedom dinner, including his stunning rendition of God Bless America, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVLjVHBIt_g&sns=tw.