Home » Jazz Articles » Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's


Live Review

Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's

Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's

Courtesy Walter Atkins


Sign in to view read count
Arturo Sandoval's lifelong commitment to music and recognition of young musicians was clearly evident. It was an embracing weekend of music and a fitting legacy to his friend and mentor, Dizzy Gillespie.
Arturo Sandoval
Yoshi's Oakland
Oakland CA
November 20, 2022

Emmy and ten-time Grammy-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and his band performed Sunday night before an enthusiastic audience at Yoshi's Oakland. This was the final show in a completely sold out weekend of Afro Cuban music and much more at the popular East Bay venue.

Sandoval's crack band consisted of: Mike Tucker, saxophone; Will Brahm, guitar; Max Haymer, piano; Danny Feldman, bass; Max Gerl, bass; and Mark Walker, drums. During the engaging set, which featured "Got A Match," "Caprichosos," "Cherokee,""Bb Blues," "Soka Beat," and "Timba de la Buena," the Artemisa Cuba native did some scatting and discussed some of his key influences. During a previous interview, he talked about bebop and how intricate the music was. One of his first heroes was John Birks Dizzy Gillespie who had a sense of humor and a language he called mumbles. The others were John Brookshire, Clark Terry and the iconic Charlie Parker. In a subdued mood, he casually stated, "I'm 73 and still alert, but not always." Sandoval then erupted into Parker's bebop standard "Donna Lee." Gillespie also gave him a Jew's harp and taught him how to play it. He made melodic sounds while humming then jumped into a James Brown-inspired song " Knock On Wood." The bass solo was complimented by the congas.

Sandoval said to the house, "I wish you have as much fun as we do. Music is the balm for the soul and the spirit. It does so many good things for us." He added his first introduction to music was a piano, not the saxophone. "It's the best instrument for a musician. It's useful for improvisation and Miles Davis went to Dizzy to improvise." The trumpeter carefully made his way along the edge of the cluttered band stand stepping over monitors to the piano. He purchased his first piano in his 40s because you couldn't catch him playing one growing up in Cuba. Once comfortably established at the piano bench, Sandoval competently played a Rachmaninoff composition with a slow languid introduction. Suddenly, he launched into his thrilling arrangement with the full band vigorously joining him on this delightfully unexpected musical orbit.

He announced the release of a new album and hoped for a Grammy nomination. In Sandoval's jovial style, he asked "if you vote, please do. if you don't vote, just buy the album." On a visit to St. Lucia, the master story teller said it was very nice, and exposed him to the Caribbean's soka beat. A couple was sunbathing on the beach and she was watching a soap. He was watching the people and the music. He joined the people dancing. What is the meaning of the story, he rhetorically asked. "You have to relax." The band went into "Soka Beat" and people moved and cheered to rich rhythms of the islands. The trumpeter appreciated and thanked attendees Eddie and Julie for their long friendship. There were many young music students enjoying the music, including sixteen year old trumpeter Iona Kambouridis and her teacher Bob Frazier. The gracious band leader personally invited her to sit in and miked her up. "Let's play the blues and forget about everything else." She took the first and last solo on the bluesy number. Walking through the overflowing venue, he hugged Julie and said she could be a great writer. He brought up Charlie Chaplin's touching 1936 tune "Smile," with lyrics added 20 years later by two English writers, John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons.

Towards the set's rocking end, Sandoval noted the time and mentioned his contract terms. He then announced he would play longer. The latest rhythm in Cuba was called timba. He liked it because, "No rules. No steps. Shake baby!" He closed with "Timba de la Buena" and Yoshi's was definitely shaking to the song. At the conclusion, Sandoval and his group were thanked with a boisterous ovation. Standing at center stage, he firmly stated, "Start with bebop and dedication." He thanked God and was grateful for doing what he's doing and added, "Practice, practice, practice."

After the scintillating show, Sandoval spent time with Cayce Carnahan's music class from Mill Valley Middle School. The trumpeter answered numerous questions and offered solid advice to the impressionable youngsters. Arturo Sandoval's lifelong commitment to music and recognition of young musicians was clearly evident. It was an embracing weekend of music and a fitting legacy to his friend and mentor, Dizzy Gillespie.

Post a comment

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Jazz article: The Cookers at Jazz Alley
Jazz article: Ben Wendel Group At Bop Stop
Jazz article: Brilliant Corners 2023
Jazz article: Mike Stern Live at the Birchmere


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.