Born in the Bronx, Sammy Figueroa is the son of the well-known bolero singer Charlie Figueroa. The celebrated Puerto Rican musician and bandleader has played with jazz icons such as Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, Lena Horne, Arturo Sandoval, Ruben Blades, Eddie Palmieri, and Herbie Hancock. A master jazz percussionist and legendary conguero, he has received two Grammy nominations during an illustrious career that spans more than three decades.
While rubbing elbows with the famous “who’s who” of jazz, Figueroa has also gifted his talent to the likes of countless pop, rock and R&B music idols: Chaka Khan, Mariah Carey, Blondie, Aretha Franklin Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Celine Dion, Diana Ross, Natalie Merchant, Luther Vandross, Ashford & Simpson, Whitney Houston, Roberta Flack, David Lee Roth, Hall & Oates, Annie Lennox, Grace Jones, Anita Baker, and Sister Sledge.
“Latin jazz is like a great food recipe, and now we can mix in other flavors,” said Sammy Figueroa. “The genre has evolved in the sense that now we mix more styles of music within the Latin structure, like tablas with congas and cajones and so on, and there is more liberty to mix Latin with other melodies.”
Through the years, Figueroa has participated in hundreds of recording album and film score sessions. Often compared to the great Ray Barretto and Mongo Santamaria, two of Figueroa’s albums, ‘And Sammy Walked In’ and ‘The Magician’ received Grammy nominations for Best Latin Jazz Album.
“My new CD will be a different sort of taste all together without leaving my Latin roots,” Figueroa added. “It will have some urban, Latin, jazz, funk and Brazilian, and the title will probably come during the rehearsal process.”
Figueroa’s tours have brought him before audiences across the globe, yet one of his most memorable live performances was during the Hal Leonard series at the Milwaukee Pabst Theater in Wisconsin. “When we received a standing ovation during our intermission, it was the first time ever that a band had received such a standing ovation in that manner,” he expressed.
Aside from traveling the world during concerts, he lends his jazz expertise as the host of one of Miami’s most popular jazz radio programs, “The Sammy Figueroa Show” on Mondays at 11:00 a.m. on WDNA 88.9 FM. Fans worldwide stream his one-hour show online via www.wdna.org.
To learn more about the legendary percussionist, and see a schedule of his upcoming performances, visit his site: www.sammyfigueroa.com.