Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Wow! Arturo Sandoval at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle

Posted by glennled on August 16, 2021

Trumpet superstar Arturo Sandoval came to town, so my wife and I went to hear him play at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle on 22 July. He was there Thursday through Sunday nights, playing one set on the first night and two on the others. We had dinner and enjoyed the show. I confess—I’ve seen his exercise books in the music stores and heard more about him than actually heard him play, and I was very curious to listen and learn.

The music was highly energetic most of the time, but occasionally, things would slow down, like when he would insert his mute but most notably when he left the stage and wandered through the audience singing, “When I Fall in Love,” made most famous by Nat King Cole.

I had not realized how versatile, multi-talented, and widely accomplished Arturo is. I had thought of him mostly as a screamingly-high trumpeter, amazing improvisor, and fast-riff performer. But that evening, I heard him sing, saw him move, listened to him play drums, piano, and synthesizer. And his band—five guys just like him! The man on the bongos was my favorite. The sax player and guitarist are great technicians, but I’m mostly a brass and piano fan.

Arturo talked about coming to the USA from his native Cuba in his 40s, learning to speak English, and about now finally emerging from Covid isolation back into live performances at his age (72)—how good it feels and how much it means to him to be back in front of people, making music, with his band. And his avid fans adore him. It was great to be there!

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