Current Weather
The Spy FM

From Cuba To America, Arturo Sandoval Is An Ambassador For Jazz

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
August 20, 2013

Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is set to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this year for his contributions to the world of music. He’s won nine Grammy awards and an Emmy. He’s also collaborated with legends like Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis, and contemporary stars including Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys.

But his most famous and consequential musical partnership was with his hero, Dizzy Gillespie. Tell Me More guest host Celeste Headlee sat down with Sandoval to talk about his start as a trumpet player in Cuba, and how his journey to America influenced his music.

Interview Highlights

On growing up loving jazz in Cuba

We used to listen everyday, every single day, [to] Voice of America was a shortwave radio program. And they play everything in jazz music. That was the only way we have to hear that kind of music and to be connected with the music we love. I was in the obligatory military service for three years when the sergeant [caught] me listen[ing] to Voice of America. And then they put me in jail because I was listening to the voice of enemies.

On meeting Dizzy Gillespie for the first time

I was dying to meet him. Finally we get together and [at] that time I couldn’t speak any English at all…but we connected so well since the very first moment that I drove him and I showed [him] the city for the first time. I never told him I was a musician myself. When he saw me with a trumpet in my hand and he said ‘Hey! What [is] my driver doing with a trumpet?’ Somebody said ‘no he’s a trumpet player.’ He said ‘No no, he’s my driver.’ That was the very beginning of our friendship and collaboration.

On the legacy of jazz

I always say that jazz is the most important art form created in this country. We have to really be aware of that. That we have to carry that legacy and let everybody, [the] younger generation, that this is a beautiful music created in this country [with a] wonderful legacy and also big recognition and prestige [from] all over the world. You know the people love and admire and respect jazz immensely. [There] isn’t any place on earth where the people don’t know about jazz. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

2PM to 3PM The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party

Think NPR meets Vanity Fair. In each episode, hosts Rico Gagliano & Brendan Francis Newnam talk with some of the world's most interesting celebrities, and along the way equip you with bad jokes, fresh drink recipes, hot food finds, odd news stories... and etiquette tips from the likes of Henry Rollins and Dick Cavett. It's all you need to get an edge in your weekend conversations. Past guests include Michelle Williams, Judd Apatow, Kid Cudi and Sir Richard Branson. Wallpaper magazine calls The Dinner Party one of the Top 40 Reasons To Live In The USA.

Listen Live Now!

3PM to 4PM The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table

Hosted by award-winning Lynne Rossetto Kasper, The Splendid Table is a culinary, culture and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch the lives and feed the souls of everyone.

View the program guide!

4PM to 5PM Weekend All Things Considered

Weekend All Things Considered

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center