GRAMMY® award-winner David Sánchez is recognized around the world as one of the finest saxophonists of his generation.
His mastery of the instrument is undeniable and his sound unmistakable. Combine that with Sánchez’s deep-seated knowledge of both Jazz and Latin music, and the traditions that mold them, and the results are extraordinary.
In a review, world-renown jazz writer and critic Howard Reich saluted the bandleader saying, “Sánchez’s prowess on saxophone is matched by the intellectual depth of his concept and compositions”. Reich has also noted “Technically, tonally and creatively, he seems to have it all. Recordings such as “The Departure” (1994), “Sketches of Dreams” (1995), “Obsession” (1998) and “Cultural Survival” (2008) showed Sánchez merging jazz syntax with the musical dialects of his native Puerto Rico and other Caribbean and Latin American sources.”
The influences of Puerto Rican folkloric music can be clearly heard on “Street Scenes” (1996), his debut album on Sony/Columbia. Strains of Bomba and Plena are also evident in “Obsession” (1998) and “Melaza” (2000) both produced by the great saxophonist Branford Marsalis, as well as “Travesía” (2001), Sánchez’s first entirely self-produced recording.
Sánchez continues to tour the world as a bandleader, bringing his mix of mainstream jazz with Afro-Latin influences to audiences around the globe. At the same time, he is also a member of The SFJazz Collective, an all-star octet representing the SFJazz organization. The Collective has been one of the most prolific ensembles of the last decade. It’s known for its stellar musicians, groundbreaking compositions and innovative takes on the music of some of the world’s most influential artists.
Sánchez’s unique musical sensibility can be traced to his home, Puerto Rico, where he began playing percussion and drums at age 8. He migrated to tenor saxophone a few years later. While a student at the prestigious La Escuela Libre de Música in San Juan, he took up the flute, clarinet as well as soprano saxophone with teachers Angel Marrero and Leslie López. The Bomba and Plena rhythms of his homeland, along with Cuban, Caribbean and Brazilian traditions, were the biggest influence on Sanchez’s early taste in music. But soon jazz masters such as Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, and John Coltrane would command his ear and his imagination. “Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson all have been also major influences. Of course, and many, many others.”