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Arturo Sandoval to Score Cuba

Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval (pictured left) is once again bringing his dazzling, high-register trumpet yelps to the big screen. Sandoval is expected to supervise and/or provide all the music for the upcoming Hillcrest Entertainment film Cuba, a $30 million film that follows a Cuban family from 1950 to the present, concluding with a “dramatic and unique vision of Cuba’s future.”

Sandoval’s appointment as the film’s music director is particularly noteworthy because of his history with the Cuban government. Sandoval grew up and studied classical trumpet in Cuba, but he met resistance from Cuba’s government, which restricted him from appearing at various international jazz festivals. In July 1990, Sandoval defected from Cuba in the name of artistic liberty, and settled in Florida where he signed with GRP and cut hugely successful albums like Flight to Freedom, Hothouse and Americana. Sandoval was the subject of last year’s HBO film For Love of Country, featuring Andy Garcia.

This is not the first time a prominent jazz musician has been called on for a major motion-picture soundtrack. Lalo Schifrin provided the scores for countless films in the 1960s, most notably Bullitt. Robert De Niro hired alto saxophonist Bobby Watson to write original music for the 1950s-based gangster film A Bronx Tale. Trumpeter Terence Blanchard provided the scores for Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and Summer of Sam, among others, and the upcoming Original Sin, starring Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas. Sandoval has previous film experience scoring portions of 1995’s The Perez Family, and an HBO bio-pic about Sandoval featured his work, but this is the first time he will create an entire film soundtrack.

Lead actors for Cuba are yet to be announced. Filming is set to begin in Miami and Puerto Rico in January 2002.

Originally Published