Arturo Sandoval — Jazzed As Ever

Few musicians have collected the variety of awards that Arturo Sandoval has — not only is he a 10-time Grammy Award winner, but he’s a 19-time nominee, an Emmy-winner, a six-time Billboard Award winner, and a recipient of the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom. It comes as no surprise that this master jazz trumpeter was mentored by the legendary Dizzy Gillespie himself.

When asked what fans should know about his upcoming Lincoln Center performance on March 22, Sandoval says, “I’m still as in love with music as the first day, and I always look for my next gig — to play the best for them.”

Sandoval hails from Cuba, and began trumpeting at 12 years old, idolizing Gillespie as he explored jazz with an influence of his Latin roots. Later in life, he had the opportunity to tour with Gillespie, who was so instrumental in Sandoval’s career that it inspired the book The Man Who Changed My Life, based on Sandoval’s own memoirs.

Over the course of Sandoval’s 40+ years in music, he’s had the opportunity to play alongside artists such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake and Josh Groban, but his favorite musician to work with still continues to be Gillespie. “No doubt about it, the one and only,” says Sandoval, “Of course I’ve had the privilege to play with a lot of great artists that I admire and respect so much, but he was so good to me over the years.”

Although Sandoval’s career has stretched over the past four decades, his love for jazz and his desire to share music with others has never faltered.  “It’s my love, it’s my passion, I’ve been dedicated to music my entire life nonstop,” says Sandoval with palpable excitement in his voice.

It’s that dedication and passion that has helped elevate Sandoval to a status reserved for only the most elite and well respected of musicians.  His life and passion has served to inspire others and was portrayed in the HBO movie, For Love or Country, starring Andy Garcia, for which he composed the entire score and garnered his Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition.

Currently, Sandoval is in the process of finishing up an album, his very first compilation of duets. It has been two years in the making, and as Sandoval says, “Important artists are really busy to coordinate everyone’s availability, but it’s worth every second.”

What should the Lincoln Center audience expect from Arturo’s only stop in Colorado? “We’re gonna try our best to give them 100% with a lot of passion and enthusiasm, with our best desire to make them have a good time.”

Tickets for Arturo Sandoval’s March 22 performance start at $15 and are available at

Join us for a masterclass with Sandoval in the University Center for the Arts Organ Recital Hall on March 21st at 6 p.m. Free and open to the public. 

Bringing a Classic Children’s Tale to Life

Mr. Popper’s Penguins hits the Lincoln Center stage March 24th for two wacky, waddling, family-friendly performances.

Many may recognize the title from the 2011 movie starring Jim Carrey — but these penguins have a much lengthier history than the movie lets on. Published in 1938, Mr. Popper’s Penguins was written by Richard Atwater, with later collaboration from his wife Florence as he grew too ill to complete the novel. The book has been beloved by children for 80 years, winning a John Newbery Medal, a Young Reader’s Choice award, and serving as an inaugural book for the Lewis Carroll Shelf Awards in 1958.

Unlike the movie, where Jim Carrey plays a successful businessman who cares for the penguins in his New York City apartment, the original story follows an ordinary house painter, Mr. Popper, and his fascination with the South Pole. Mr. Popper writes a letter to his favorite South Pole explorer, Admiral Drake, who then sends him a gift – a penguin to call his very own. From there the expected antics begin.  Soon, the Poppers open their home and hearts to a bunch of the boisterous black and white birds but the growing family puts a strain on the Popper’s budget. Mr. Popper’s solution: turn the penguins into performers and take the show on the road.

Delivering what The New York Times declares, “cuteness [that] is hard to resist,” this stage version of  Mr. Popper’s Penguins returns to the original story with an added bit of retro charm.  With catchy songs and penguin puppets who are expressively comical, this action-packed musical is perfect for families, particularly those with children under 9 years old.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins comes to the Lincoln Center March 24 at 2 and 6 p.m. All seats $15.