Searching for a Memory (Busco tu Recuerdo)
Release date: July 14, 2023
Label: Ashé Records

Searching For A Memory (Busco Tu Recuerdo)a remarkable Latin jazz album by the legendary GRAMMY-nominated percussionist Sammy Figueroa, featuring GRAMMY-winning Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and the dynamic Latin GRAMMY-winning Cuban vocalist Aymée Nuviola.  Produced by multiple GRAMMY-nominated producer, Rachel Faro, Figueroa’s first album in nearly a decade is dedicated to the memory and music of his father, the late romantic singer Charlie Figueroa.

“My father Charlie Figueroa was a singer of romantic boleros back in the 1950's, one of the best, whose records still sell to this day.  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 humor and that I inherited his musical talent,” reflected Figueroa.

Charlie’s greatest 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 all he finds is a dream.

Joining Sammy on Searching For A Memory are two musical greats: pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and vocalist Aymée Nuviola. Their unique bond and emotional outpouring that came to the fore during the recording of the album is deeply embedded in the music. Here, the classic melodies of Charlie’s most famous boleros have been transformed into modern Latin jazz arrangements with elements of son montuno, cha-cha, plena/bomba, mariachi, samba, rumba, and just great clave-based Latin jazz.

Half  of the collection is instrumental while the remaining half is punctuated by the high-flying and emotionally charged vocals of Nuviola and Sammy himself, who rediscovered his own voice during the making of this album. He shines on the title track, which was one of his father’s most prominent hits.

Guest artists and contributing arrangers on Searching For A Memory include MacArthur Genius Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenon, trumpet player and multiple GRAMMY winning arranger John Daversa, the brilliant Cuban saxophonistFelipe LaMoglia, Cuban flutist Magalys Herrera, Puerto Rican bassist Ricardo Rodriguez and Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Munir Hossn.

On Searching For A MemorySammy Figueroa turns buried emotions into gorgeous musical expression. With the support of his musical family, the process gave Sammy the strength and joy to forgive his father and heal from his chaotic childhood. For this reason, he dedicates this album not just to Charlie Figueroa, but to all children who grow up without fathers.

The recording of this album was made possible by a Creative Residency Grant from the SouthArts Jazz Road initiative.

DANILO NAVAS
LATIN JAZZ NET
Check out the album announcement here.

ADAM FEIBEL
JAZZ.FM
Read about the album here.

EDITOR
SOLAR LATIN CLUB
Read about the review in Spanish here.

VINCENTE TOLEDO ROHENA
THE NATIONAL FOUNDATION for POPULAR CULTURE
Check out the album review in Spanish here.

EDITOR
CANCION AQUEMARROPA
View this album review in Spanish here.

THIERRY DE CLEMENSAT
PARIS MOVE
"There are albums whose style you don’t even need to understand, and they captivate you from the first notes of the first track… “Searching For A Memory” (Busco Tu Recuerdo) is one of those albums." View this albums review here.

JIM HYNES
MAKING A SCENE
"Sammy takes the classic melodies of Charlie’s most famous boleros and transforms them into modern Latin jazz arrangements with elements of son montuno, cha-cha, plena/bomba, mariachi, samba, rumba, and just solid clave-based Latin jazz." Check out the full album review here.

PATRICIA ALOY
VENEZUELA SINFONICA
Check out this albums review in Spanish here.

CHLOE RABINOWITZ
BROADWAY WORLD
"On Searching For A Memory, Sammy Figueroa turns buried emotions into gorgeous musical expression." Check out the full review here.

MARK SAMPSON
SOUNDS AND COLOURS
"The result is an exhilarating repertoire of high-class vocal and instrumental numbers, on which the percussionist shows why he is one of the best in the business." Check out the full feature here.

DEE DEE MCNEIL
THE MUSICAL MEMOIRS
"This album is a lovely tribute to Charlie Figueroa, featuring his son, an impressive percussionist, and these magnificent musicians, who bring new life to old musical memories." Check out the full feature here.

EDITOR
DISTRITO JAZZ
Check out the full review in spanish here.

EDITOR
JAZZ 24
"On Searching For A Memory, Sammy Figueroa turns buried emotions into gorgeous musical expression." Check out the full review here.

EDITOR
JAZZWIZE
“Apart from perhaps Ray Baretto, Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria, few percussionists ever become household names. But if only on the evidence of this set, Figueroa belongs in that tiny select group.” Check out the full feature here.

JUDY CANTOR-NAVAS
MIAMI NEW TIMES
“The music on the new album brims with pure feeling, evoking the ups and downs of Charlie Figueroa's freewheeling artist lifestyle while it maps Sammy's emotions as he reconsiders his father's role in his life.” Check out the full feature here.

RAUL DA GAMA
LATIN JAZZ NET
"Clearly Mr Figueroa is at the peak of his musical powers and although he may easily go on to issue many more iconic albums, for my ears, this recital’s unity of purpose is utterly convincing. " Check out the full review here.

ALEX DUTILH
RADIO FRANCE
Check out this radio feature in French here.

EDITOR
JAZZWIZE
Check out what this editor had to say in this Editors choice feature here.

EDITOR
MODERN DRUMMER
"Afonso and Figueroa and bassist Ricardo Rodriguez work together to create a perfect traditional Latin recording. This is a beautiful recording filled with love and respect, and traditional Bolero groove." To read the full article click here.

ILIANA CABRERA
WORLD MUSIC CENTERAL
"In a remarkable twist, Sammy rediscovers his own voice during the album’s creation, shining brilliantly on the title track, a rendition of his father’s most prominent hit." You can check out the full review here.

CATALINA MARIA JOHNSON
DOWNBEAT
"...Puerto Rican percussionist Sammy Figueroa embraces the music of famed 1950s Puerto Rican singer Charlie Figueroa, the father he never knew." You can check out the full review here.

WILBERT SOSTRE MALDONADO
90 GRADOS
"A true gem, “Searching for a Memory,” is a musical journey by Maestro Sammy Figueroa in search of the memory of his father, the percussionist Charlie Figueroa, whom Sammy barely knew." Check out the full article here.

LUDOVICO GRANVASSU
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
Check out this feature on the editors best of 2023 list here.

LUDOVICO GRANVASSU
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
Check out the editors playlist here.

MICHAEL AMBROSINO 
33 THIRD
"From folkloric, Latin Jazz and salsa, to rock, R&B, soul and pop, Figueroa’s fingerprints are all over music that’s inspired audiences for decades." Check out the full review here.

JAIME TORRES TORRES
PRENSA SIN CENSURA 
"This is a jazz gem. Unquestionably the most significant album in the career of percussionist Sammy Figueroa: a tribute to his father, the legendary bolero, guaracha and dance singer Charlie Figueroa, whose centenary was commemorated in 2021 and went unnoticed in Puerto Rico." Check this feature in Spanish here.

VICENTE TOLEDO ROHENA
EL NUEVODIA 
"The Puerto Rican percussionist Sammy Figueroa bequeathed a musical gem that featured the collaboration of the Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Miguel Zenón, the singer Aymee Nuviola, in a production by Rachel Faro." Check this feature in Spanish here.

TOM HULL
THE ARTS FUSE
Check out this critics choice poll here.

TOM HAUGHEN
TAKE EFFECT
"Figueroa turns his father’s romantic boleros into modern Latin jazz tunes that embrace son, plena/bomba, samba, cha-cha and good old fashioned jazz, and it’s a great gesture towards a life cut short too soon." Check out the full review here.