Arturo Sandoval’s decision to perform at the Hollywood Bowl today in a concert organized by ¡Si Cuba! is at best painfully disappointing. ¡Si Cuba! has been exposed as just another U.S.-based propaganda arm of the Castro dictatorship, and Mr. Sandoval should know better. By performing at this concert, he is lending his talent, his name, and his integrity to the same regime who oppressed him and continues to oppress his fellow Cubans. Nevertheless, to Arturo Sandoval’s credit, he is refusing to perform with or share a stage with the Castro propaganda musicians flown in from Havana for the show.
Sandoval refuses to share stage with Omara Portuondo and Buena Vista Social Club
Arturo Sandoval with be performing along with singer Omara Portuondo and other members of the Buena Vista Social Club this Wednesday at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. However, the trumpet player emphatically rejected any possibility of performing together with the artists from the island because of ideological differences.
“Since I left Cuba, I do not present myself as artist who represents Cuba,” Sandoval said in an interview with the AP. “We may be in the same program, but we are not together. Period. I will do my show in my own way, and they will do theirs.”
When asked if he would perform at least one song with Buena Vista, Sandoval replied: “Absolutely not. We represent two completely different things… I advocate and defend human rights, total liberty for everyone, and above all, democracy. Omara and the band that is coming, and above all Omara — we worked together for many years in Cuba and I know her very well — represent the government of Cuba.”
Sandoval and Portuondo have shared a stage in the past. “We did many things together in Cuba,” the trumpet player said. “Remember that I started playing in Cuba when I was 11 years old, and I left when I was 40,” he said in the interview without giving any more details.
The musician, who is 61, has been living in the U.S. since 1990 after defecting in Greece during a tour with his mentor, Dizzy Gillespie.