By Ted AYALA
Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is used to fans raving over him at his sold-out shows. But it was something else to see the Glendale City Council and local dignitaries alike geeking out over the sight of Sandoval at the council dais on Tuesday night.
The trumpeter accepted a proclamation from the city designating April 11 as “Arturo Sandoval Day.” The proclamation paid tribute not only to Sandoval’s musicianship but also to his “ongoing efforts to make Glendale a better place to live, work, and play.”
Sandoval, who was born in Cuba and defected from there in 1990, has performed with many prominent musicians in the jazz and pop world. He also regularly performs classical music, having originally been classically trained.
Nearly a decade after his defection, Sandoval was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2013.
“We’re not just designating a day because he’s Arturo Sandoval,” said Mayor Zareh Sinanyan before reading the proclamation. “But he has a very close connection to [this city]. He’s helping through his efforts, his presence, and his incredible talent in acquiring musical instruments for [Glendale Unified] students – and giving us immense pleasure while doing it.”
Saturday, April 11 will also see Sandoval at the Alex Theatre at 8 p.m. for “Save the Music 3,” a concert benefitting youth music programs, fund scholarships, instruments, and art programs. Glendale Unified School District [GUSD] has been among the organizations that have received help from the trumpeter’s Arturo Sandoval Institute (ASI). In the ranks of his backing band Saturday night will be no less than eight GUSD alumni.
A representative from the ASI called their work a “magical ride,” adding that it was hard to believe that the idea for the organization only came to being two years ago.
Sandoval, who personally accepted the proclamation, thanked the council for its support, saying that Glendale’s role in the ASI is crucial. He also singled out Mercy Velasquez, a current member of the ASI and past president of the Glendale Latino Association, as being the “heart” of his organization.
“Our hearts and souls are filled with beautiful emotions,” he said. “The support we got from Glendale is something I appreciate very much. No matter where we go or what we do, Glendale will always be [the ASI’s] ‘motherland.’ We are so proud.”