Sammy Figueroa has long been regarded as one of music’s leading percussionists. He has played on countless records and is well-known for his versatility in a multitude of musical styles. Besides playing with some of the world’s greatest pop stars, such as David Bowie, Chaka Khan and Mariah Carey, Sammy has also played with a multitude of distinguished jazz artists including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, George Benson, and many, many more.
Sammy’s latest project is Searching For A Memory (Busco Tu Recuerdo), a remarkable Latin jazz album featuring GRAMMY-winning Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and the dynamic Latin GRAMMY-winning Cuban vocalist Aymée Nuviola. Produced by multiple GRAMMY-nominated producer, Rachel Faro, Figueroa’s first album in nearly a decade is dedicated to the memory and music of his father, the late romantic singer Charlie Figueroa.
Here, the classic melodies of Charlie’s most famous boleros have been transformed into modern Latin jazz arrangements with elements of son montuno, cha-cha, plena/bomba, mariachi, samba, rumba, and just great clave-based Latin jazz.
On Searching For A Memory, Sammy Figueroa turns buried emotions into gorgeous musical expression. With the support of his musical family, the process gave Sammy the strength and joy to forgive his father and heal from his chaotic childhood. For this reason, he dedicates this album not just to Charlie Figueroa, but to all children who grow up without fathers.
Sammy Figueroa was born in the Bronx and raised in Puerto Rico, the son of romantic singer Charlie Figueroa. After many years as New York’s number one percussionist, in 2001 Sammy relocated to South Florida. Putting a band together with the best players in town Sammy Figueroa and His Latin Jazz Explosion debuted at the Hollywood Jazz Festival and since then he has never looked back.
Sammy’s first album, “…and Sammy Walked In”, included a title track written in his honor by Michel Camillo. Three more albums followed: “The Magician”, “Urban Nature” and “Imaginary World”. All three of these albums are notable for brilliant compositions and arrangements by Venezuelan composer/musicians Silvano Monasterios on piano and Gabriel Vivas on bass. “And Sammy Walked In” and “The Magician” have both been honored with Grammy® Nominations for Best Latin Jazz Album.
From 2010 to 2013, Sammy toured the world with the great saxophone master Sonny Rollins. Sammy also appears on Sonny Rollins’ latest three albums, the Grammy® Nominated ‘Road Shows Vol. 2’, ‘Road Shows Vol. 3’ and the recently released ‘Holding The Stage, Road Shows Vol. 4’.
In addition to his two Grammy® Nominations for Best Latin Jazz, Sammy has been honored with numerous awards. These include two NARAS Awards for Percussionist of the Year, two Drummie Awards for Best Hand Percussion and the Jazz Journalists Association Award for Best Percussionist.