Born: November 1, 1971 Primary Instrument: Drums
Antonio Sanchez was born in Mexico City November 1st, 1971. At age five, he discoreved an irresistible attraction towards the drumset. After a few years of private study he started performing in a wide variety of musical situations ranging from rock to jazz and latin to fusion with several bands in Mexico City's music scene. At age seventeen he enrolled in the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City where he pursued a degree in classical piano and composition. Besides his instrumetal studies he completed courses on traditional harmony, counterpoint, arranging, vocal ensembles and composition while keeping busy with intensive drum practice.
In 1993, after four and a half years of study at the mexican institution, he earned a scholarship to pursue Jazz Studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he had the chance to study jazz arranging, improvisation, jazz composition, ear training, harmony and solfege among other music related courses.
During his 4 year tenure at Berklee he studied with teachers who had extensive resumes in the international jazz scene like Kenwood Dennard, Casey Scheurell, Jamey Hadad, Victor Mendoza, John Ramsay, Ed Uribe, Hal Crook, and Bill Pierce among others. Antonio remained very active in Boston's musical community performing and recording while finishing up his studies at Berklee. He became the first call drummer for some of New England's most active recording studios where he recorded for a wide variety of artists and producers. He also had the privilege of playing with Boston- based most renowned musicians like Gary Burton, Mick Goodrick and Danilo Perez among others.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude he obtained a scholarship for a Masters in Jazz Improvisation at the New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with George Garzone and Danilo Perez among other teachers.
A few months into his studies at the Conservatory, Paquito D'Rivera called Mr. Perez for advice on someone for the drum chair in Dizzy Gillespie's United Nation Orchestra (which Mr. D'Rivera had taken over after the great trumpet player's passing). Antonio was the first recommendation that came to mind. The Orchestra embarked on a long tour which catapulted Sanchez into the international jazz scene. Later that year, it was Mr. Perez who required Antonio's talents to be a part of his acoustic trio. They toured extensively for a couple of years and recorded the Grammy nominated album Motherland.
During a double bill concert in Europe which included Perez's trio playing opposite Pat Metheny's trio, the legendary guitarist took notice in Antonio's drumming. After a few months of auditions he got offered the drum chair of the Pat Metheny Group for their upcoming recordings and tours.
The Group has recorded two albums since Sanchez's addition. The first one, Speaking of Now won a Grammy in 2003 under the Best Contemporary Jazz Album category. A DVD under the same name documenting the tour has also been released . The second effort, The Way Up will be released in January 2005.
In addition to being a member of the Pat Metheny Group, Antonio is also one third of Metheny's acoustic trio featuring Christian McBride on bass.
Besides playing with Metheny, D'Rivera and Perez, Antonio Sanchez has performed and recorded in many ensembles led by artists like Michael Brecker, with whom he recorded the album Wide Angles (which won a Grammy for the Best Large Ensemble in 2004), David Sanchez, (with whom he recorded Melaza and Travesia which both were Grammy nominated), Charlie Haden, John Patitucci, Chris Potter, Avishai Cohen (Antonio appears on Colors and Unity) Marcus Robert's (In Honor of Duke), Dave Samuels, Claudia Acuña, and Luciana Souza among others.
He has conducted clinics and masterclasses in Europe, Japan, North and Latin America including the prestigious Modern Drummer Festival Weekend 2003 (DVD recording released), The Montreal Drum Festival and PASIC among others. Some of the institutions that have hosted Antonio as a visiting artist are Musician's Institute in L.A., Berklee College of Music and Drummer's Collective in NYC. He has also been the recipient of several scholarships and awards like the Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship, The Zildjian Award, The Boston Jazz Society Scholarship Achievement Award and Berklee's Most Outstanding Performer Award.
Antonio is endorsed by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals and Sticks, Evans Drumheads and LP Percussion.
He currently resides in New York City.