By Helson Hernandez
HAVANA TIMES — Young Cuban trombone player Eduardo Sandoval is launching a new album, produced by Cuba’s EGREM label. “I am more of a performer than an accompanying instrumentalist,” he told HT in his interview.
HT: Is it uncommon to have trombone solos?
Eduardo Sandoval: No, it’s quite common to have trombone solo. It’s been so since the last decade, particularly in New Orleans.
HT: How did you end up in the music academy?
ES: My last name helped me choose my path. I am referring to the last name of the greatest trombone player this country has had, Arturo Sandoval. We’re not related, but my parents were enthused about this coincidence and took me to music school, to learn to play the trumpet, initially – but my physical characteristics led me to take up the trombone.
HT: How would you describe your instrument?
ES: It’s an air-based instrument. For me, it’s like the voice of a sweet person, even though it’s a coarse-voiced name. If you play it softly, it makes a sweet sound. When you play it roughly, that’s how it sounds. Trombones make the sounds the performer wants them to.
HT: Was your first album, Caminos Abiertos (“Open Roads”), produced by the label EGREM free of charge?
ES: It wasn’t exclusively that label. I also obtained the Reino de este Mundo award, granted by the Hermanos Saiz Association (AHS). The album includes music not only by me but by my band as well. I am satisfied. The album has been selling quite well, people are buying it.
HT: What Cuban trombone players before you have had an impact on your work?
ES: I have followed the career of Juan Pablo Torres. For me, he’s the trombone player who has gone furthest with the instrument in Cuba. I have made a point of learning a bit about his life and work. He was the director of the Modern Music Orchestra for some time and an EGREM executive also, until leaving Cuba. He passed away in the United States.
HT: You were one of the award winners at the Young Cuban Jazz Players Festival.
ES: Yes, I got a mention at JoJazz, as a performer. This gave me the motivation I needed to continue getting better and making progress as a musician. The festival allowed me to present my work to the audiences that attend this important music event, which showcases and encourages young jazz talents in Cuba.
HT: How do you see yourself as a trombonist?
ES: I am more of a performer than an accompanying instrumentalist.
HT: What ideas do you have for the future?
ES: I have a lot of plans, many concerns as a trombonist. I want to stage classical music concerts and fulfil commitments around the world, through El niño y la verdad (“The Child and the Truth”), a summer tour we do every year in Europe. I will be in France for a month and a half to stage a musical in Paris, a version of Broadway’s Carmen, which includes all kinds of music and the participation of very important artists from different countries. God willing, I’ll also be able to stage the concerts I’ve planned for the United States.