Arturo Sandoval is one intense musician. In his work, conversation and life, the ferociously gifted trumpeter is a personification of the ardent artist. His music can be breathtaking, feral, seemingly super-human.
One root of Sandoval's intensity is his upbringing in Fidel Castro's Cuba. A free spirit long restrained under a dictatorship, he felt stifled and frustrated both personally and musically.
Mentored by the bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, whose furious, upper-register blowing Sandoval absorbed, the Cuban musician defected to the United States with Gillespie's aid in 1990. His liberation has been bittersweet, though.