Percussionist Sammy Figueroa pays tribute to his father on his latest album Searching for a Memory.
The Grammy-nominated musician is joined by pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and vocalist Aymée Nuviola, both of them Cuban sensations who earned acclaim for their duo album Live in Marciac just last year.
Figueroa’s first album in nearly a decade is dedicated to the memory and music of his father, the late Charlie Figueroa.
Charlie’s biggest hit single was “Busco Tu Recuerdo,” in which he sings of searching for the memory of his loved one only to discover that there is no memory, only a dream. This parallels Sammy’s experience — he never really knew his dad — when he searches for a memory of his father.
“My father Charlie Figueroa was a singer of romantic boleros back in the 1950s, one of the best, whose records still sell to this day,” says Sammy. “But he passed away as a young man, when I was just a little boy, a victim of his ‘bohemian lifestyle.’ But those who knew him, from Eddie Palmieri and Yomo Toro to Charlie’s sister, my Aunt Blanca, all say that I look like him, that I have the same sense of humour and that I inherited his musical talent.”
Half of the collection is instrumental, while the remaining half features vocals by Nuviola and Sammy himself, who rediscovered his own voice during the making of the album.
Guest contributors on Searching for a Memory include saxophonist Miguel Zenón, trumpeter and arranger John Daversa, saxophonist Felipe LaMoglia, flautist Magalys Herrera, bassist Ricardo Rodriguez, and multi-instrumentalist Munir Hossn.