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Poncho Sanchez

Supreme Latin Jazz

Since his solo recording debut in 1982, Grammy award winning percussionist Sanchez has led some of the most popular and influential Latin jazz bands around. With over 20 records under his name and a full performance schedule, he is one of the most respected American percussionists alive.

Sanchez was born in Laredo, Texas, but grew up in Los Angeles. There he experienced an unusual cross section of sounds that included straight-ahead jazz, Latin jazz and American soul. Self taught on guitar, flute, drums and timbales, Sanchez eventually settled on the congas as his instrument of choice. Sanchez landed a job with vibraphone legend Cal Tjader, a job he kept until Tjader’s death seven years later.

Sanchez is considered the reigning king of Latin jazz, and his Grammy award in 2000 for Best Latin Album lends further credence to this. His recorded output covers bebop, soul, rock and funk, all with a pervasive Latin groove, and his live performances are the stuff of legend.


• “Watermelon Man” from the Montreux Jazz Festival

What Other People Have Been Saying...

“The Latin jazz of Poncho Sanchez rolls on like a well-oiled machine, showcasing the verities that have made him North America’s (if not the world’s) most popular conguero-bandleader.”  – JazzTimes

“…dizzying ability of Sanchez’s Latin Jazz Band to play anything it wishes with consummate swing and soul.” – Allmusic 

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