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Articles | Featured | Future

CATCHING UP WITH

Poncho Sanchez: Mambo King

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For over 30 years, conguero/bandleader Poncho Sanchez has been the premier proponent of West Coast Latin Jazz. Growing up in Norwalk, California, Sanchez was exposed to and influenced by two very different styles of music: Afro-Cuban music and bebop, as well as R&B. Originally a guitarist, Sanchez taught himself the flute, drums, and timbales before finally deciding to pursue conga playing in high school. In 1975, Sanchez's idol, vibraphonist “Cal Tjader invited him to perform with his band. Sanchez played ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band: Toronto, Canada, March 9, 2013

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Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz BandKoerner HallToronto, OntarioMarch 9, 2013After not playing in Toronto for quiet a few years, fans were finally able to enjoy the wonderful talent of master conguero Poncho Sanchez, together with his Latin Jazz Band and featuring, on this particular occasion, young lion {m: Christian Scott = 15401}} on trumpet. For the 2012-2013 season, the Royal Conservatory has programmed a series of performances, Devoted to Dizzy. This particular night was billed as ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Poncho Sanchez at Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado

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Poncho Sanchez Denver Botanic Gardens Denver, Colorado August 24, 2009

Poncho Sanchez is the state of the art in Latin Jazz these days. Since the passing of Tito Puente in 2000, Sanchez has ascended to the top of the list of active players in terms of popularity, exuberance and the undeniable authority of his Latin rhythms. By the end of Sanchez' second set Monday night at the Botanic Gardens, the only ones not dancing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Poncho Sanchez: Raise Your Hand

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An album reflects an artistic personality; the creative mixture of past influences determines the current output. When Concord Records acquired the Rhythm 'n Blues label Stax, percussionist Poncho Sanchez gained access to musicians and repertoire that shaped his musical identity. This provided Sanchez the opportunity to paint a fuller picture of his artistic background. On Raise Your Hand, he brings his Latin jazz group together with several guest artists to mix Latin jazz, Salsa, and classic Rhythm 'n Blues tracks. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Poncho Sanchez: Do It!

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Poncho Sanchez is the Energizer Bunny, or maybe the Cal Ripken Jr., of Latin jazz. Since 1982, the veteran conga player and bandleader has turned out consistently excellent, high-octane albums on an annual basis for Concord Picante, some two dozen so far. His latest, Do It!, doesn't mess with the formula that's made Sanchez's group one of the most popular Latin jazz bands in the world. The nine-piece band is a crowd pleaser, offering a bit of ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Poncho at Montreux

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Poncho Sanchez Poncho at Montreux Concord Picante 2004

Poncho Sanchez looks great. He and his band simply don't age. They rock and swing with inexhaustible energy. Sitting at the congas leading his band, and singing from the Latin jazz tradition, he kicks off this indoor concert performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival with the same confidence and poise that has brought him from local neighborhood garage bands to worldwide acclaim. He gives ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Poncho Sanchez: Do It!

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While the personnel helping to provide the trademark Latin jazz sound of Poncho Sanchez has changed somewhat, the personality of his band and its convincing approach just keeps on getting better. Like fine wine...

Special guests Hugh Masekela and Tower of Power give Do It! a classic funk quality that extends throughout the entire program. Masekela's two soulful vocal numbers lend an earthy quality to the session, while Tower of Power pumps it up with sass and class. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Poncho Sanchez: Out of Sight!

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Conguero Poncho Sanchez (born in Laredo, TX, and raised in Norwalk, CA) is today the king of Latin jazz. Since forming his own band in the late ‘70s, Sanchez has put out more than two dozen albums. Undoubtedly, one of the challenges he faces is trying to keep the music sounding fresh. With each of his albums, the leader places something on top of the music's Afro-Cuban rhythmic foundation. On his latest release that something is a heavy dose of ...

INTERVIEW

A Fireside Chat With Poncho Sanchez

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Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I did buying for Tower Records. In my limited capacity as a record store serf, I was empowered by musicians who would compliment the selection. Poncho Sanchez came in a handful of times, but unlike the lion’s share of artists, never eyeballed his CDs. Moreover, the conguero actually educated me on the gravity of Lee Morgan’s Caramba. That personifies Sanchez, neighborhood, unconditionally. His unmitigated benevolence has been rewarded and today, ...


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