Arthur “Artie” Cabral is a prominent drummer on the national and regional music scene whose first professional music job came at the age of 13. Artie has also served as president of the Providence Federation of Musicians, AFM 198-457, for the past eighteen years and has just been elected to another two-year term.
Artie’s earliest job was at the Metropolitan Theatre in downtown Providence, then a noted jazz venue. Artie and the small band in which he worked were soon hired by Five Acres, a prominent restaurant in East Providence that featured musical performances
At age 18, while still in high school, Artie met the woman who was to become his wife, Catherine P. Gallo. They were married for 50 years until Catherine’s death last year. The couple had two sons: James, now a senior investigator for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, and Anthony, a community development agent and also a movie and TV actor in Kenya, Africa.
Artie attended the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music in Boston from which he graduated with a teaching degree. After two years of teaching in Pawtucket, however, Artie recognized that playing rather than teaching was his destiny.
Artie made one connection at Berklee with the great trumpet/flugelhorn player, writer, arranger and Ellington authority Herb Pomeroy that was to last for years. Both in small groups and in big bands, Artie was the man behind the drums for Herb. Cabral made another lifetime connection at the Kings and Queens in North Providence where he joined the trio of Hall of Fame pianist Mike Renzi in 1963.
Artie also played in a small group called Randy and the Stompers accompanying such Black performers as Redd Foxx, Dakota Staton, Sarah Vaughan, and so many more, at the Celebrity Club, Providence’s famed racially-integrated night spot. He also worked with a small band led by the highly talented tenor saxophonist Art Pelosi and a trio headed by pianist Al Nicolace.
Artie’s artistry was not confined to New England. He spent two years playing in Rob McConnell’s famed big band in Toronto, Canada. He also traveled with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and was hired in Woody Herman’s band, particularly to play for the band’s lead singer, Dionne Warwick. Artie has traveled to perform nationally and in Europe with many major artists, and he has also run an influential music school with trombonist Hal Crook.
Artie Cabral–drummer, musician, teacher, and leader of musicians extraordinaire–has become a legend in Rhode Island music circles and a most worthy inductee into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.
— Dr. John A. Worsley