All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Interviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

790

A Fireside Chat With Poncho Sanchez

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count

PS: Once again, we are talking about a living legend here. Brother Ray Charles, as a little kid growing up in Los Angeles, I was exposed to all this different kind of music, gospel music, which I love very much and will touch upon on the next record, and all the great Ray Charles hits on the radio at that time. I remember listening to the tune “Mary Ann” on the radio as a little boy. I always felt it in a cha-cha groove. Dale Spalding does a version of “Mary Ann” and we started doing that as a funky cha-cha. As a matter of fact, Dale plays harmonica on that track. I asked Dale if it would be OK to have Ray Charles come in and do the vocals. Ray agreed to do it. At the time, Billy Preston was at Ray’s office. Billy asked me, “If there is anything I can do for you on the record, let me know.” I asked him if he knew “One Mint Julep” and Billy came in and he knew that tune inside out.

FJ: Start making room on the mantel for a few more awards.

PS: (Laughing) I think if they ignore this one, I wouldn’t understand that. I really feel very, very strongly about this record. I have a really good feeling about it. It is a throwback to when I used to be the frontman for a rhythm and blues/soul band. Francisco Aguabella plays batas on the last track as a tribute to the late, great Mongo Santamaria. I think this one is the best one that I have ever made and I’ve made some pretty good records.

FJ: I do have one bone to pick, however. For anyone jumping on the Poncho bandwagon, it will cost a small fortune to obtain your now, sizeable discography.

PS: (Laughing) Oh, yeah.

FJ: The people need a Poncho box set.

PS: That is what a lot of people have been telling me.

FJ: The neighborhood kid has grown up to become the worldwide ambassador of Latin jazz.

PS: Everything is finally coming together, Fred. What is happening to the music now, I just want it to continue growing and getting the recognition that it deserves. To me, Latin jazz is our music. It is American music. It was born right here when the great Chano Pozo met the great Dizzy Gillespie. This is ours. This is a piece of America and I am proud of that. For me, I am slowing down a little bit so I can enjoy my home and my family more. I used to be on the road all the time and playing all the time and I think it is time to start enjoying family life. But I don’t think I will ever stop performing and playing. I am trying to pay back where I came from. I did a master class at a little middle school in Norwalk. We played for the kids. The music is spreading and I am very proud of that.

Visit Poncho Sanchez on the web at www.ponchosanchez.com .

Photo Credit
Mark Sheldon

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Catching Up With
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Film Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Live In Hollywood

Live In Hollywood

Concord Picante
2012

buy
 

Chano Y Dizzy!

Concord Picante
2011

buy
 

Psychedelic Blues

Concord Picante
2009

buy
Raise Your Hand

Raise Your Hand

Concord Picante
2007

buy
Do It!

Do It!

Concord Picante
2006

buy
Do It!

Do It!

Concord Picante
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Randy Weston: The Spirit of Our Ancestors Interviews
Randy Weston: The Spirit of Our Ancestors
by Ludovico Granvassu
Published: September 7, 2018
Read Val Wilmer: Dues And Testimony Interviews
Val Wilmer: Dues And Testimony
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 5, 2018
Read Bob James: Piano Player Interviews
Bob James: Piano Player
by R.J. DeLuke
Published: September 3, 2018
Read Ben Wolfe: The Freedom to Create Interviews
Ben Wolfe: The Freedom to Create
by Stephen A. Smith
Published: September 1, 2018
Read Peter Epstein: Effortless Precision Interviews
Peter Epstein: Effortless Precision
by Stephen A. Smith
Published: September 1, 2018
Read Dan Shout: In With a Shout Interviews
Dan Shout: In With a Shout
by Seton Hawkins
Published: August 31, 2018
Read "Chad Taylor: Myths and Music Education" Interviews Chad Taylor: Myths and Music Education
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: April 9, 2018
Read "Nicky Schrire: Permission to Be Yourself" Interviews Nicky Schrire: Permission to Be Yourself
by Seton Hawkins
Published: July 9, 2018
Read "Tomas Fujiwara: The More the Better" Interviews Tomas Fujiwara: The More the Better
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 6, 2017
Read "Val Wilmer: Dues And Testimony" Interviews Val Wilmer: Dues And Testimony
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 5, 2018