Sammy Figueroa, percussion
Other musicians, TBA
Sammy Figueroa was born in the Bronx, New York, the son of the well-known romantic singer Charlie Figueroa. His first professional experience came at the age of 18, while attending the University of Puerto Rico, with the band of bassist Bobby Valentin. During this time he co-founded the legendary and innovative world jazz group Raices, which broke ground for many of today’s fusion bands. Raices was signed to a contract with Atlantic Records and Sammy returned to New York, where he was discovered by the great flautist Herbie Mann. Sammy immediately became one of the music world’s hottest players and within a year he had appeared or recorded with John McLaughlin, the Brecker Brothers and many of the world’s most famous pop stars, including Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Bob Dylan.
In a career spanning over thirty years, Sammy has played with a multitude of distinguished artists including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Dave Sanborn, Quincy Jones, the Brecker Brothers, Dave Grusin, Michel Camilo, George Benson, Stanley Clarke, Grover Washington, Jr., Al Jarreau, Lena Horne, Joe Williams, Mark Murphy, Mike Mainieri, Nestor Torres, Chico O’Farrill, Mike Stern, Dave Valentin, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Ruben Blades, Eddie Palmieri, Tania Maria, Jorge Ben Jor, Daniela Mercury, Tom Jones, Mariah Carey, James Taylor, Dr. John, Mick Jagger, Average White Band, David Bowie, Celine Dion, Natalie Merchant, Luther Vandross, Ashford & Simpson, Anita Baker, Roberta Flack, David Lee Roth, Hall & Oates, Joe Cocker, Rickie Lee Jones, Annie Lennox, Paul Winter, Glen Velez and many more.
In 2001 Sammy relocated to South Florida where he discovered an exciting alternative to New York’s jazz scene: a vibrant and creative diaspora of jazz virtuosos from Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina. Putting together a band with some of the greatest players in town, Sammy Figueroa and his Latin Jazz Explosion made their debut in September 2002 at the Hollywood Jazz Festival. Three albums and two Grammy Nominations later, Sammy and his band are clearly considered to be one of the most exciting bands in Latin jazz today.
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