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David Sanchez
David Sanchez  Biography
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Biography
Tenor saxophonist David Sanchez was born in Puerto Rico in 1968. Attracted by the rhythms of the Afro-Caribbean musical traditions, he began playing the conga at eight years old, listening to groups like Irakere, local danza and other traditional forms, as well as Classical music. At the age of twelve he began studying at La Escola Libra de Musica, where he took up the saxophone.

Two years later, in 1982, through his sister, David was exposed to Miles Davis and Billie Holiday, immediately making him an ardent fan of Jazz and opening a new world of sonic possibilities.

Considering a career in psychology while in college in Puerto Rico, the call of music was too strong and David auditioned for Berklee and Rutgers in 1988, choosing the latter, in good part for its proximity to the New York scene. Soon he connected with pianist Danilo Perez and reunited with old friends, trumpeter Charlie Sepulveda and percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo, leading to a stint with Salsa legend Eddie Palmieri. The genre-crossing multicultural music of Palmieri was a natural fit for Sanchez, and a great learning experience that soon hooked him up with trumpeter Claudio Roditi, saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and eventually Dizzy Gillespie in 1990.

Diz took the young saxophonist under his wing, inviting David to join his United Nation Orchestra, and they regularly worked together in both large and small group formats, until Dizzy’s retirement in 1992. A featured performer in most of the worldwide celebrations of his mentor’s 75th birthday year, Sanchez played alongside many of Jazz’ most celebrated figures.

Since leaving the world of Gillespiana, David has performed with such notables as Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Barron, Chucho Valdes and as an original member of Slide Hampton’s Jazz Masters, with whom he continues to perform today.

But since 1994, his primary focus is performing in the U.S. and overseas with his own quintet, where he weaves a rich tapestry reflecting his many experiences and influences, enhanced by his own vigorously lyrical and rhythmically charged sax work. Contracted to Columbia/Sony since 1993, Sanchez has released four albums, including his most recent, the Grammy nominated 'Obsession.'

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