Poncho Sanchez is a Mexican-American conguero (conga player), Latin jazz band leader, and salsa singer.
In 2000, Sanchez and his ensemble won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album for their work on the Concord Picante album Latin Soul.
In addition, Sanchez has performed with artists Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaría, Hugh Masakela, Clare Fischer and Tower of Power, among others.
Sanchez has headed one of the most popular and influential Latin jazz bands around ever since his debut as a bandleader in 1982.
The youngest of 11 children, Sanchez was reared in Norwalk, California, and exposed to and influenced by two very different styles of music: Afro-Cuban music (mambo, son, cha-cha, rumba, guaracha, salsa) by greats such as Tito Puente, and bebop jazz, including the works of Charlie Parker.
Originally a guitarist, he discovered his talent for singing during an audition for an R&B band that rehearsed across the street from where he lived, becoming the lead vocalist of the group.
Sanchez would later go on to teach himself the flute, drums, and timbales before finally deciding to pursue conga-playing in high school.
After a period playing with local bands, he joined Cal Tjader’s band in 1975 and was an important part of Tjader’s pacesetting group until his idol’s death in 1982.
Shortly after he formed his own band and has since recorded on a regular basis for Concord Picante. Sanchez’s group is very active, playing in clubs, concerts, and festivals on a regular basis.
* One of the most popular latin jazz artists
* Grammy winner taught himself to play guitar, flute, drums, timbales and congas.
* Worked with artists like Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaría, Hugh Masakela, Clare Fischer and Tower of Power, among others.