PONCHO SANCHEZ BRINGS AFRO-CUBAN RYTHMS TO VALLEY ISLE
The Maui Arts & Cultural Center presents Latin jazz drummer Poncho Sanchez and his band for a rollicking performance in the Castle Theater on Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 pm. Grammy Award-winning Poncho Sanchez is renowned as both a bandleader and a drummer, with music based in the merge of Afro-Cuban rhythms with bebop jazz, but also heavily influenced by R & B and soul sounds.
Poncho’s music is infused with fresh and joyous Latin rhythms, a multi-cultural mix slathered with smokin’ R & B and soul sounds. But Poncho Sanchez refers to himself as a storyteller. As leader of one of the most popular Latin jazz group in the world today, it’s his congas that do the talking, to tell the story of encounters, friendships and passions that have contributed to his remarkable career as a bandleader and recording artist.Â Live in concert or on recordings, his seasoned ensemble spins vivacious tales that pay homage to the glories of a half-century tradition born when Afro-Cuban rhythms merged with bebop.
Poncho Sanchez’ own life story is part of Latin jazz lore. He was born in Texas into a large Mexican-American family, but 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, he honed his skills as a percussionist and broke into the limelight at the age of 23 with vibraphonist Cal Tjader’s famed Latin jazz ensemble. In the early 80’s he began his own career as a bandleader, and has produced two dozen recordings, a Grammy Award and several Grammy nominations. His latest album Do It (with Tower of Power on two tracks and other guest artists, some of his favorite musicians) features the variety of styles that illustrate the leader’s fondness for traditional tropical Latin fare, jazz standards, R&B and funk.
Tickets for the Poncho Sanchez concert are $12, $30 and $40, with a discount available for MACC annual donors, half price kids 12 and under and students under 18.
Tickets are available at the MACC Box Office, open 10 am – 6 pm, Monday through Saturday. Ticket buyers may also charge by phone at 242-SHOW (242-7469)Â or order at www.mauiarts.org online.
(Posted by Wendy OSHER Â© 2009)