Cuban jazz legend Arturo Sandoval awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Cuban-born jazz legend Arturo Sandoval was named by President Barack Obama Thursday as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Sandoval, a nine-time Grammy award winner who is well known for his collaborations with jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, is part of a group of recipients including President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Gloria Steinem.

Sandoval, who lives in Miami, began his education in jazz in Cuba before travelling worldwide and performing with musicians including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake.

This year is the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s establishing the award, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude,” President Obama said in a statement.

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