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Let curiosity take flight

By Yelanys Hernández Fusté
Source Juventud Rebelde 18.02.2016

Album de Eduardo Sandoval
New album by Eduardo Sandoval

Eduardo Sandoval does not like to be identified with any particular group or musical genre. Always restless and curious to find new routes to create, this new artist prefers to be recognized as “a musician, a trombonist who works with many groups”.

Sandoval is able to play everything and he is seen as part of the set of metal instruments of groups such as El Niño y la Verdad, the group of Raul Paz or Buena Fe. But Havana Jazz is his main project, the one that keeps him awaken and leads him to experience his melodic ideas.

Born in Havana’s Playa municipality in 1985, Eduardo has art running through his veins thanks to his parents, who encouraged him to pursue music since childhood. He told JR they gave him enough reasons to pursue the profession and he highlighted his mother is a housewife, fervent admirer of the Cuban sonority. His dad is not let behind: “He is a singer, although he did not study at school. He has a very good voice and is one of the singers of Conjunto Chapotín. "

The “Alejandro Garcia Caturla” Elementary School of Music, the “Amadeo Roldan” Conservatory and the University of Arts (ISA) were a substantial complement to his purpose of being an artist. There he earned the necessary technique and knowledge to later develop his incipient artistic career, of which the trombone is an essential part.

He said that instrument called his attention because it can imitate the voice just like the cello. “The trombone is sweet and when you master it, you should try to play it without sounding grotesque. And I always try to do this, to imitate the voice with my trombone and to reach people”, he confessed.

Now that his debut record has just been presented as the result of a close collaboration between EGREM record label and the Hermanos Saiz Association (AHS), Eduardo Sandoval feels that he has too much to say and the pieces included in his CD Caminos abiertos are an absolute example of it.

Giving details of the album, Sandoval stressed the volume had the musical production of saxophonist Michel Herrera. “It is a jazz album that includes many genres of the Cuban music. There are rumba, guaguancó, boleros and songs and also Latin jazz”, he says.

There highlight some of his pieces like Cubano soy, Afro en casa, Rumbeando con Chano and Danzón a Isabel. There are also two works that stand out and whose beauty transcends time: the first one is Veinte años, by Maria Teresa Vera and Guillermina Aramburu. In his version, he explains that he looked for the singer Beatriz Márquez, “who is an exceptional performer and the person who impressed me the most in the phonogram”.

The same happened with Despedida, a single by pianist Miguel Nuñez, and which he precisely chose after discovering him during that tour they carried out together throughout the island.

Although Eduardo struggles not to be classified, it is the aesthetics of the movement of young jazz musicians also a strong attraction point. “I feel part of that movement and I studied with many of its members. I see this process as an evolution of the legacy of these great exponents of the genre such as Chucho Valdes and Ernán López-Nussa. I think they're going through many good and beautiful things with the young Cuban jazz”.

“I consider myself a continuator of what was made by Juan Pablo Torres, excellent Cuban trombonist and one of my greatest musical references. I try to find new chords to what he used to do. I regret not having known him, although I met his daughter, who was my piano teacher at the Alejandro García Caturla Music School”.

Then, we can say that versatility is what characterizes Eduardo Sandoval.

-Yes. I have come to those groups because I have been called to take part in the recording of their albums. I arrived to the orchestra El Niño y la Verdad thanks to a friend. One day he asked me to cover for him in the group. Then he left and I stayed. I feel super comfortable there. The music we play is very good and the atmosphere we have created is special. I also work with Buena Fe, the group of Raul Paz; in classical music with the ISA’s orchestra which is part of the Havana-based Mozartian Lyceum and with my project Habana Jazz.

What do you find in all these proposals?

It calls my attention the fusion of music and that it allows me to develop myself as an artist in each of these projects. For me there are no bad genres. Not even the reggaeton, which lacks musical elements, but which does have a piece of salsa, jazz or the symphonic music.

I think we should play on stage the best as possible for two reasons: because we must respect the works of those whom I accompany, and because you never know who might be listening.

Habana Jazz is that laboratory where Eduardo Sandoval experiences his concerns as an author. How much has that “research” time influenced in you?

I have very good musicians. As I am very open to learning, they also guide me. I made my jazz project because I did not want to go unnoticed through the Cuban musical life.

How much gives you to be part of the Hermanos Saiz Association and the winner of the creation scholarship El reino de este mundo (The Kingdom of this World)?

The first thing I would say is that I thank my first record, Caminos abiertos, to the Hermanos Saiz Association. They were the first people who trusted in me—then came the EGREM record label. They supported my music and my career, and I want to thank them for this. I think the AHS is very important for all the creators who have no recognition and it opens its doors to all young people who need its support.

We were just talking about the young musicians, who bring a tremendous boost and enrich the national sound with their contributions. How do you include yourself in all that musical revolution that today is guided by the new artists?

I would join just as another trombone player who contributes a little bit to that movement. And I do it by interacting with many ways to do things and with my music.

With countless plans for 2016, Eduardo Sandoval and Habana Jazz can be seen performing in the network of jazz clubs of Havana, especially at the Café Miramar and in La zorra y el cuervo.

But there is more to this desire of Sandoval to offer his music and as he disclosed to our newspaper, this year “he has thought, always anticipating the working commitments already agreed, of a classical music concert and I want to experience things that have been done not so much in Cuba like doing a concert for trombone and orchestra, which could be performed with the ISA’s Symphony Orchestra, part of the Mozartian Lyceum, directed by José Antonio Méndez”.  Let us wait for it.

Translation: Lisandra Alapon (Cubarte)

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