Friday, September 17, 2010
Sammy Figueroa was born in the Bronx, New York, the son of the well-known romantic singer Charlie Figueroa and a member of Puerto Rico's foremost musical family. His first professional experience came at the age of 18, while attending the University of Puerto Rico, with the band of bassist Bobby Valentin. During this time he cofounded the innovative fusion Brazilian/Latin group Raices, which broke ground for many of today's fusion bands. Raices was signed to a contract with Atlantic Records and Sammy returned to New York.
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 with both 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.