Around the world Monday: Mexico’s Antonio Sanchez

31 Jan

It really can be a small world in jazz sometimes. Drummer Antonio Sanchez, born in 1971 in Mexico City, graduated from the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City and then went off to school in Boston at Berklee and then to the New England Conservatory, where one of his teachers was Panama’s Danilo Perez.

When Cuban-born Paquito D’Rivera called Perez to try to fill a drum seat in Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, Sanchez was off and drumming. Before long he had toured with Perez and was part of the Pat Metheny Group.

But Sanchez is hardly limited. He has released his first album as a leader and also performed with Marcus Roberts, Charlie Haden and the late Michael Brecker, among others. When Sanchez joined Metheny, Gary Burton and Steve Swallow in their reunion, Metheny said: ” (Sanchez) freed us all up to dig deep, back into this material, with a whole new perspective on it.”

It’s no surprise Sanchez made his career in the arts — his grandfather, Ignacio Lopez Tarso, is a well-known actor who has starred in Mexican soap operas.

Sanchez: “Just to lift your spirit, that is the sole purpose of music, I think. Music can completely change the way you feel in a second.”

Sanchez currently lives in New York and teaches at NYU when he’s not playing.

Next Monday: Puerto Rico

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