Arturo Tappin is a smooth jazz and jazz/reggae saxophonist from Barbados. He has performed with Roberta Flack, Monty Alexander, and on an album by Luther Vandross.
He is based in New York City, but is strongly linked to his homeland. In the late 1980s he made his debut as a leader of his own quintet including pianist Jacky Terrasson at International Barbados/Caribbean Jazz Festival.
Arturo Tappin began his musical career, with formal training at Berklee College of Music. Described as a cross between the Teddy Pendergrass and Kenny G, Tappin is referred to as the smoothest, saxiest horn man the Caribbean has to offer. Influenced by the roots culture, he made headway with his roots-reggae Jazz-fusion album for his debut recording, and increased the hype with a repeat performance on his second album, entitled Java, both licensed by Pioneer Records in Japan.
His dynamic live performances and his reputation for putting on explosive shows led him to perform at the Edinburgh Festival, Soho Jazz Festival, Miami AT&T Caribbean Jazz Festival, St. Lucia, Antigua, Curaçao, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Grenada and Barbados Jazz Festivals, Arturo continued his live performance schedule at Bob Marley’s Birthday Bash, James Bond Film Festival in Jamaica, and Trinidad’s Independence Day celebration in Miami. Besides touring jazz festivals the world over, Tappin has performed at social engagements as well including a performance for past United States President Bill Clinton and twice for Fidel Castro and President Barack Obama. He has recently received an Excellence in the Arts award from former Jamaican Prime Minister P. J. Patterson.
Tappin has played and recorded with many artists including Luther Vandross, Eddy Grant, Red Rodney, Milt Hilton, Monty Alexander, Ernest Ranglin, Jacky Terrasson, Courtney Pine, Al Harewood, Roy Haynes, Ellis Marsalis, Oliver Jones, Doc Cheatham, Pete King, Mutabaruka, The Wailers Band, Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, Third World, Mikey Bennet, Dennis Bovell, Sandra Cross, Luther François, Maxi Priest, Bongo Herman and Dean Fraser. Tappin attributes much of his success to a former tutor at Berklee College of Music, Bill Pierce (Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers), uncle Elombe Mottley, and his parents for their constant love and support. He can be currently seen on stage with singer and pianist Roberta Flack.