Drummer Antonio Sanchez Brings Migration, and Tales of a Family Legacy, to Our Studio

Jun 27, 2019

The Mexico City-born artist Antonio Sanchez has always been outspoken about immigration, a subject he addresses on his new album, Lines In The Sand.

For Sanchez, a five-time Grammy award-winning drummer and composer, activism came naturally; in a sense, he never had a choice in the matter. His calling as a crusader for human rights is indelibly linked to an immigration story in his family, which took place before he was born.

On this episode of The Checkout, we’ll hear from Sanchez about that story. It begins with his grandfather, Ignacio López Tarso, whom Sanchez calls “the most famous elder Mexican actor living today.” Tarso originally felt called to become a priest — plans that changed after he survived a calamity while working as a migrant farmer in California. It was during Tarso’s road to recovery that his destiny —and by extension, Antonio’s — would fall into place.

Sanchez recently brought his pointedly named band Migration to the WBGO performance studio. Watch the band — with Sanchez on drums, Thana Alexa on vocals, Chase Baird on saxophone, John Escreet on piano, and Orlando le Fleming on electric bass — perform their latest extended suite, “Lines In The Sand, parts I and II.”

And here is a composition titled “Home.”

Migration’s New York album-release show is this Friday at Le Poisson Rouge. The band plays the Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival on Saturday and the Montreal International Jazz Festival on Sunday, before heading to the Bucharest Jazz Festival on July 6.

For more tour dates and information, visit antoniosanchez.net.

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