@ the Jazz Café
21 November 2018
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Probably one of the most talented jazz and Latin drummers of all
time is Antonio Sanchez. With over 8 years of post-secondary musical
education, it is no wonder why he has excelled to the drummer he
is now. Many people know him for his work with the Pat Metheny group;
however his achievements go far beyond that. Sanchez has played
many drum clinics across the world, and specialises in lengthy polyrhythmic
solos. He is known for mastering the left foot clave, bringing forth
independence that is unheard of by many professional drummers.
Antonio Sanchez was born on November 1, 1971 in Mexico City. He
started playing the drums at the age of 5, and has not stopped ever
since. After just a handful of private lessons, he knew he wanted
to take his musical career to the next level. After playing many
jazz, rock and fusion gigs, he enrolled in the National Conservatory
of Music in Mexico City when he was 17 years old. Here he studied
piano, composition, traditional harmony, counterpoint, arranging,
and vocal ensemble.
Sanchez studied there for 4 and a half years. He then received
a scholarship to attend Berklee School of Music in 1993. He did
not hesitate to accept this honour, and immediately began to study
all different types of jazz. Here at Berklee, Sanchez also studied
jazz arranging, improvisation, jazz composition, ear training, and
harmony. It was here at Berklee where he got recognised by some
of the top teachers of the school; these teachers were the ones
with massive connections in the jazz community.
Upon graduating from Berklee, Sanchez received another scholarship
for a Masters in Jazz Improvisation at the New England Conservatory
of Music in Boston. Again, he went back to school. It was here where
he started playing for top musicians like Paquito D’Rivera
and Mr. Perez. Through his next few years, Sanchez grew in popularity
in the jazz and Latin music scene. He played many drum clinics in
Europe, Japan, North and Latin America. He also played for PASIC,
Modern Drum Festival, and the Montreal Drum Festival.
During a show with Perez, a talented musician named Pat Metheny
was playing with them. He couldn’t help but notice Antonio’s
talents, and decided to audition him for his group. When Sanchez
was growing up, he dreamed of playing for Metheny, since he was
one of his favorite musicians. After a few months of auditions,
Sanchez joined the Pat Metheny group, which still plays and tours
to this day.
Antonio Sanchez currently endorses Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals,
and Latin Percussion. He is known for is incredible independence
with both his feet and hands, being able to play polyrhythms and
left foot clave overtop of any beat or solo. When he was growing
up, his influences were progressive rock and heavy rock; mainly
Rush. However, as he grew, his desires to play jazz became too great,
and he started a career in jazz and Latin music.
Antonio Sanchez has inspired drummers everywhere, as he has shown
them what can actually be accomplished by the human body on the
drums. He can truly partition his mind to be able to play a different
rhythm on each limb independently. For this, and the sheer skill
and talents of his drumming ability, Antonio has become a drumming
icon. He is currently living in New York City, where he continues
to play and record for jazz musicians all over the place.