The Arturo Sandoval concert on Feb. 8 at the Alex Theatre was among the very best music events ever held in Glendale.
Sandoval himself is inspirational. At 64, he is an exciting, trumpeting, drumming, piano-playing bandleader like no other. He captured the hearts of the audience from his opening words, “the most important thing in life is freedom!” Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval’s jazz mentor, was instrumental in securing escape from Castro’s Cuba and Sandoval’s entry into the United States.
After an introductory program by members of the Hoover High jazz band, Sandoval continued his Save The Music concert, a benefit to raise money for the purchase of musical instruments for Glendale’s school orchestras, with his ode to Gillespie, “Dizzy, Every Day I Think of You.” The entire show was full of wonderful Sandoval surprises. As band leader, he led the wild “Then She Say Stop,” as pianist he played a haunting solo and then as drummer he had the audience yelling for more.
Sandoval closed the show with two final surprises. Four amazing young men from the Debbie Allen troupe sinuously dancing to “Dear Diz” and in the finale, two fire engine red-dressed Spanish dancers bursting with Latino rhythm to “Manteca!” closed the three-hour show.
Every Glendale music lover and supporter of youth orchestra should put next year’s Arturo Sandoval concert on their calendar now.