Sandoval’s virtuosic performances gained him attention from a very young age. By 16, he was a member of Cuba’s all-star national band, and just over ten years later he began working with his biggest idol, Dizzie Gillespie. Throughout his amazing career, Sandoval has played with some of the world’s most successful musicians, including Frank Sinatra, Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Alicia Keys, Pattie LaBelle, and even Justin Timberlake. It is impossible to place all of Sandoval’s work under one musical category, as he has proven time and again his astounding versatility as a musician.
Little about Sandoval’s journey has come easily. In 1990, he defected from his native Cuba and fled into the United States, not gaining his official citizenship rights until 1999. Despite his struggles, Sandoval has devoted his life to expressing his belief that all people should be able to live in freedom and pursue what makes them most happy. This message has given hope to the oppressed and inspiration to the downtrodden all over the world.
Sandoval’s journey was dramatized in a beautiful film starring Andy Garcia called “For Love or Country”. He is also one of the featured performers on EarthTones founder Frank Fitzpatrick’s score for the film High Chicago, to be released later this year.