Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band bring show to Scottsdale

Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band perform on March 31 in the Virginia G. Piper Theater. (Submitted photo)

Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band bring their show to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 31, in the Virginia G. Piper Theater, 7380 E. Second St.

A night of what the Texas native calls “the world’s greatest music,” offers blends of traditional Afro-Cuban and Latin American beats infused with jazz, according to a press release on Mr. Sanchez’s music, described as Latin jazz.

According to an official biography on Mr. Sanchez, he attributed his style to the New York City meeting of conga drummer Chano Pozo and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie in the 1940s. He said they were the first musicians to bring elements of Latin music to American jazz, creating the style he’s championed for about four decades.

“(Latin jazz) has the melodic and harmonic sophistication of jazz and American standards, and the flavor and energy of Latin American music,” Mr. Sanchez stated in his biography.

Mr. Sanchez’s more than two-dozen albums in a career led to recording with Booker T. Jones and Eddie Floyd while earning the percussionist numerous Grammy Award nominations between 1984 and 2010. In 1982, Mr. Sanchez released his debut album, “Sonando”; and in 1999, his album, Latin Soul won the Grammy for “Best Latin Jazz Performance.”

Born in Laredo to a large Mexican-American family, he grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, developing an affinity for artists like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wilson Pickett and James Brown, the release noted.

He taught himself to play guitar, flute, drums and timbales but settled on the congas as his instrument of choice, the release said. Mr. Sanchez got his “big break” at age 24, landing a spot in Latin jazz vibraphonist Cal Tjader’s band from 1975 until the bandleader’s death in 1982.

Tickets range from $29 to $59. Visit: www.ScottsdalePerformingArts.org or call 480-499-8587 for more information.

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