Grammy winner visits Maryland high school

Blake High School jazz band students play for Arturo Sandoval. (WTOP/Max Smith)
Arturo Sandoval talks with students at Blake High School about drums. (WTOP/Max Smith)
Arturo Sandoval coaches students about their instruments at Blake High School. (WTOP/Max Smith)
Jazz band students listen to Arturo Sandoval at Blake High School. (WTOP/Max Smith)
Arturo Sandoval works with jazz band students. (WTOP/Max Smith)
Arturo Sandoval plays the piano for Blake High School jazz band students. (WTOP/Max Smith)
Jazz band students listen intently to advice from Arturo Sandoval. (WTOP/Max Smith)

WASHINGTON – A Montgomery County high school jazz band got a special treat Tuesday when multi-Grammy-winning artist and Medal of Freedom recipient Arturo Sandoval came to visit its practice.

Sandoval gave Blake High School’s jazz band advice on life as well as music.

“There’s not a shortcut in this business. It doesn’t exist. There’s only one way. Hard discipline, hard dedication and a big passion for what you do,” he told the band and a few dozen classmates and parents sitting in the auditorium.

He even moved the band around to put the drums and bass in the middle, rather than toward the back of the stage on which they were practicing — a personal touch several members of the band called “really cool.”

Sandoval is set to perform at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday and the Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday.

The Blake Jazz Band competes in the Montgomery County Big Band Jazz Festival Dec. 14 at Sherwood High School.

Sandoval opens students’ minds

WTOP’s Max Smith reports (3:00)

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