River Cities Gazette

Former Miami Springs resident Sandoval honored by President Obama

HIGH HONOR: Former Miami Springs resident and jazz great Arturo Sandoval played the national anthem on his trumpet for a fundraiser at the Miami Springs Country Club in 2003.
HIGH HONOR: Former Miami Springs resident and jazz great Arturo Sandoval played the national anthem on his trumpet for a fundraiser at the Miami Springs Country Club in 2003.
Gazette Photo/WALLY CLARK

River Cities Gazette

President Barack Obama last week awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor — the Presidential Medal of Freedom — to 16 Americans in a ceremony at the White House.

Among the recipients was celebrated jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval, a former resident of Miami Springs. After defecting to the United States via Spain in 1990, Sandoval lived for years in a home on South Royal Poinciana Boulevard.

Although Sandoval was universally acclaimed and recognized for his music, he was relatively unknown in the Springs. People in the know often saw Sandoval on the streets and he was pleasant and affable.

Sandoval’s wife opened a travel agency on Westward Drive near the Post Office where she handled her husband’s travel arrangements, and his agent had a small office next door.

In August 2003, Sandoval appeared at a charity function 

at the Miami Springs Golf & Country Club where he 

was acknowledged with awards from Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa and Miami Springs Mayor Billy Bain. Sandoval reciprocated by playing the “Star Spangled Banner” on his trumpet.

 Sandoval was born outside Havana in 1949 and as a talented young man he met and became a protégé of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, toured with Gillespie, and gained international acclaim as a dynamic performer.

Sandoval has won nine Grammy Awards and been nominated 17 times; he has also received six Billboard Awards and one Emmy Award. He is widely considered one of the greatest living jazz artists and is now an American citizen.

Sandoval’s life was the subject of the 2000 TV film “For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story,” starring Andy Garcia. Sandoval moved from Miami Springs to Coral Gables in 2003 and currently resides in Calabasas, Calif.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to other significant public or private endeavors.

Besides Sandoval, this year’s recipients included former president Bill Clinton, country music legend Loretta Lynn, renowned women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem and television icon Oprah Winfrey.

Obama said this year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent. But he said what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world.

Read more River Cities stories from the Miami Herald

PASTOR SCHMIDT WAY: From left, Councilman Jaime Petralanda, Councilman Michael Windrem, grandson Erik Schmidt, son Mark Schmidt, Diane Schmidt (Mark’s wife), son Matthew Schmidt holding the proclamation, Councilman Billy Bain, grandson Jason Schmidt, Pastor David Imhoff, and Mayor Zavier Garcia. Family members were given commemorative street signs.

    Former Grace Lutheran Pastor Albert Schmidt honored by City of Miami Springs

    Kind, caring, and a leader. Those were some of the words at a recent tribute used to describe the Rev. Albert R. Schmidt, the beloved former pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Miami Springs who passed away in 2013 and was the subject of a dedication ceremony when the City of Miami Springs designated a portion of Curtiss Parkway as “Pastor Schmidt Way.”

CHARTER INDUCTEE: Doug Orr (second from left) was inducted onto the Miami Springs Wall of Fame on Saturday afternoon, April 12. Members of the Miami Springs City Council, from left Mayor Zavier Garcia, Billy Bain, Michael Windrem and Jaime Petralanda were on hand to make the presentation.

    Doug Orr earns spot on Miami Springs Community Center's "Wall of Fame"

    There was a lot to celebrate last weekend as people came from near and far for the River Cities Festival but not all of the celebrating occurred around the Circle and Canal Street as there was an entirely different kind of celebration going on at the Miami Springs Community Center.

BIG CROWDS, BIG FUN: The annual River Cities Festival enjoyed one of the largest turnouts in its history last weekend and the success was due, in part, to the variety of music and vendors offerring something for everyone as these three festival-goers proved.

    Annual River Cities Festival hits all the right notes for Miami Springs

    The City of Miami Springs Public Works cleanup crews were out in full force on Monday morning, April 14. And with good reason as another River Cities Festival was now in the books and there was plenty of cleaning up to be done as the weekend was highlighted by great weather and big crowds.

Miami Herald

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