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Poncho Sanchez Brings Fiery Latin Jazz to Lobero

Conga player draws influence from trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and composer Chano Pozo

Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band.
Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band. (Photo via Jazz at the Lobero)

Jazz at the Lobero will present Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band at 8 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the theater, 33 E. Canon Perdido St.

For more than three decades as both a leader and a sideman, conguero Sanchez has stirred up a fiery stew of straight-ahead jazz, gritty soul music, and melodies and rhythms from a variety of Latin American and South American sources.

His influences are numerous, but among the more prominent figures that inform his music are two of the primary architects of Latin jazz: conga drummer and composer Chano Pozo and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

Sanchez was born in Texas on Oct. 30, 1951, into a large Mexican-American family. He grew up in the Los Angeles area, where he was weaned on a broad range of Latin and non-Latin popular music.

Inspired by the conga playing of Cuban great Mongo Santamaria, Sanchez honed his skills as a percussionist and broke into the limelight at age 23 when he joined vibraphonist Cal Tjader's Latin jazz ensemble in 1975.

Sanchez performed with Tjader until Tjader's untimely death in 1982. A year later, Sanchez began his 23-year relationship with Concord Records, which has produced 24 recordings, a GRAMMY® Award and several GRAMMY® nominations.

Tickets for Sanchez And His Latin Jazz Band are on sale at Lobero.org. Section A tickets are $49, section B $39 and a limited number of VIP tickets are available for $105. Prices include facility fees.

VIP tickets include premier seating and entry into pre-performance reception. Jazz at the Lobero Series subscribers enjoy priority seating, savings on single ticket prices, and advance updates on upcoming shows.

For more, call the Lobero Box Office, 963-0761.

— Angie Bertucci for Jazz at the Lobero.


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