Sammy Figueroa has long been regarded as one of the world’s great musicians. As one of the world’s leading percussionists he has played on countless records, providing the rhythmical framework for hundreds of hits. Well-known for his versatility and professionalism, he is one of the few percussionists equally comfortable in a multitude of styles, from R & B to rock to pop to bebop to Latin to Brazilian to New Age. As one of New York’s most sought after session players Sammy played on countless albums, jingles and film scores and appeared often on The David Letterman Band and the Saturday Night Live Band. He has recorded and toured with Miles Davis, the Brecker Brothers (for 12 years!), Sonny Rollins, Michel Camilo (who wrote the tune ‘And Sammy Walked In’ in his honor), Chaka Khan, David Bowie, and Mariah Carey (in her multi-million selling MTV Unplugged). Sammy’s famed sense of humor, ebullient personality, and open-heartedness is famous within the music industry and has further empowered him in his connection with musicians and audiences alike.
As leader of The Latin Jazz Explosion, Sammy empowers his players and has created an ensemble that is astounding in its musical excitement. His first album, “And Sammy Walked In” (on Savant Records), co-produced by longtime production partner Rachel Faro, included music by Michel Camilo and Hermeto Pascual. His second album, “The Magician”, (also on Savant Records), again co-produced with Rachel Faro, features spectacular original compositions by Venezuelans Silvano Monasterios and Gabriel Vivas alongside jazz classics such as Seven Steps and Cedar Walton’s Firm Roots. Both albums received Grammy Nominations for Best Latin Jazz Album. His third album, “Urban Nature”, mainly original compositions by Monasterios and Vivas, further explores the connection between Latin rhythms and complex modern jazz, with offerings ranging from the complex ‘Gufillo’ to the poetic lyricism of ‘Zuliana’ to the swinging salsa of Mongo’s ‘Cuca y Olga’.
In 2010, ‘just for fun’, Sammy developed a second band, Sally’s Tomato, an exciting tribute to the music of Cal Tjader. With the blessings of Tjader family, this band caught on instantly, magnetizing a devoted fan base of its own with its breezy tropical, retro sound. This band has played everywhere from New York’s Iridium club to many corporate events.
In 2014 Sammy released a new album, ‘Talisman’, a special collaboration with Brazilian singer Glaucia Nasser, also produced by Rachel Faro. This album brilliantly combines the rhythms of Latin percussion with the beauty of Brazilian song. The Talisman group toured the U.S. East coast in late 2014.
Sammy is currently working on his fourth album “imaginary World”, to be released in June 2015. All signs indicate that this album will not only be his best yet but will be a benchmark for Latin jazz recordings. Co-produced by Rachel Faro and American Idol musical director Ray Chew, the tracks combine a highly complex and challenging Latin approach with a classical sense of beauty. This music was recently introduced at Sculler’s Jazz Club in Boston and received extended standing ovations and encores.
Note: all of the documents, audio and video samples below can be downloaded and used in your publicity by opening the item and then saving to your computer. Or you can copy the link and use the link on your website by right clicking on the link and then selecting “Copy link location”.
> Sammy Figueroa Full Bio (pdf)
> Sammy Figueroa Short Bio (pdf)
> Grammy Nomination Announcement (pdf)
> Sammy Figueroa Discography (pdf)
> Sammy Figueroa with The Mambo Kings – Miami Herald (pdf)
> Review JazzTimes “The Magician” (pdf)
> Review JazzTimes “…and Sammy Walked In” (pdf)
> Review All Music “The Magician” (pdf)
> Review All Music “…and Sammy Walked In” (pdf)
> Picture 1
> Picture 2
Sammy Figueroa by Robert Rodriguez
Sammy Figueroa Press Photo
> Picture 1
Sammy Figueroa & The Latin Jazz Explosion at The Pineapple Grove
Sammy Figueroa Live
“and_Sammy_Walked_In” from “and_Sammy_Walked_In” (mp3)
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