“Sammy Figueroa presents a new ideal for Latin jazz” -New York Times
It’s not often that an experienced sideman transitions into a successful career as a leader of one of the most exciting bands in jazz today. But percussionist Sammy Figueroa has done just that, garnering critical accolades, an enthusiastic fan base and 2 Grammy nominations in the process.
After twenty years as New York’s #1 percussion call, recording and touring with artists such Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Mariah Carey, David Bowie, John McLaughlin, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Grusin and countless others, Sammy moved to South Florida where he discovered a community of incredible musicians from Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil and other parts south, centered around vibrant music scenes at the University of Miami and Florida International University.
After putting together a band of the best players in town Sammy has not looked back. Sammy is noted for ‘hosting’ players, composers and arrangers of the highest calbre in his band, including Venezuelan piano maestro Silvano Monasterios bassists Gabriel Vivas, also from Australia, trumpetist Alex Pope Norris and Australian saxophonist Troy Roberts. His performances are known for dizzying rhythmical excitement combined with the harmony and beauty of a Pat Metheny or Steely Dan show. Always entertaining, Sammy’s ebullient humor and cheerful relationship with the public provides an interesting contrast to the complexity and drive of the music.
Sammy and his band have performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival, Pittsburgh Live Jazz Festival, New York’s Blue Note and Jazz Standard, Boston’s Sculler’s, Catalina’s in LA, Chicago’s City Winery, Bourbon Street Club in Sao Paolo, Burghausen Jazz Festival, Sunfest in Palm Beach, to name just a few venues.
Sammy’s band is a sextet: Percussion, Piano, Bass, Drums, Saxophone, Trumpet. Only three musicians need fly overseas as Sammy has many musical associations in Europe and Asia. In addition to his set of three congas Sammy also plays Udo drum, cuika, bongo and numerous small percussion instruments.
Sammy is endorsed by Pearl Percussion, Sabian Cymbals and Vic Firth sticks. Sammy presents master classes and clinics on percussion recording technique.
Sammy is also a popular radio host: ‘The Sammy Figueroa Show’, aired out of South Florida’s WDNA-FM, can be heard every Monday from 11 AM to noon EST, streaming worldwide on www.dna.org.