Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band
Monday, March 30
Kuumbwa Jazz Center
“… mesmerizing and elemental…” – Latin Jazznet.com
Poncho Sanchez has been preaching the “gospel of the clave” for over three decades. In that time, he has not only carried on the legacy of his mentor, Cal Tjader, but expanded his ensemble’s repertoire to include classic soul music and blues. His choice of rhythmic moods and material are both intriguing and crowd-pleasing, all the while honoring the folkloric roots of Afro-Cuban music. The band can easily switch gears from pensive boleros to high energy mambos and rumbas, or, at the drop of a hat, make a quick detour into a funky James Brown groove. His latest recording, Live in Hollywood, celebrates his 30th anniversary as a recording artist for Concord Records.
Originally from Texas, Poncho Sanchez grew up in Southern California. Musically curious from a young age, he learned to play guitar, flute, drums, and timbales, but the congas won his heart and loyalty. His coming-of-age years were enmeshed in the sounds of 1960s soul, jazz, pop, and Latin, music. As a serious student of Latin-jazz, he soaked up all that he could, including the early Cubop of Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo, and then the later Latin-jazz stylings of Cal Tjader. The young conguero attended jam sessions around Los Angeles, eventually landing gigs as a regular performer in the clubs. In 1975, his first major break came when vibraphonist Cal Tjader hired him to play percussion in his touring group. His time with Tjader left an indelible mark. Poncho fondly remembers his years recording and touring with the jazz master. In 1982, when Cal died, Sanchez picked up the Latin-jazz mantle and continued by leading his own bands. Since the beginning of his recording contract with Concord Records, in 1984, he has released 26 albums for the Concord Picante label.
Sanchez’s dedication and expertise have put him, and his band, at the forefront of Latin-jazz. As he carries forward the lessons learned from Mongo Santamaria, Dizzy Gillespie, and Cal Tjader, the group’s repertoire has grown more diverse, but stays very much in touch with its roots. Their imaginative arrangements of the Chano Pozo classics, Tin Tin Deo, Manteca, and Guachi Guaro, as well as Dizzy’s Con Alma, Arinanara, and Groovin’ High, honor an impressive legacy. Additionally, bandmember/trombonist Francisco Torres contributes one of his own originals with Jack’s Dilemma, as does saxophonist Ron Blake with Harris’s Walk. The musical proficiency of Poncho’s group is well known among jazz critics and audiences. But, all critical accolades aside, the music of the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band is just pure, enjoyable fun. As JazzTimes magazine puts it: “The Latin jazz of Poncho Sanchez rolls on like a well-oiled machine….”
Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band
DATE: Monday, March 30, 2015
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIMES: 7:00 and 9:00 PM
PRICE: $30/Adv $35/Door, No Comp Tickets
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227
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