Guest Author - Karin Norgard
Poncho Sanchez is widely recognized as one of the greatest Latin jazz percussionists of all time. Band leader, conga player, and singer, he and his band have released over twenty albums over the span of three decades. In 2000, they won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album for Latin Soul. Their most recent releases include Do It! (2005) and Raise Your Hand (2007), and they continue to tour and perform internationally.
In 2005, Poncho Sanchez and his Latin jazz band released an instructional DVD on Latin percussion called Poncho Sanchez: Fundamentals of Latin Music for the Rhythm Section (2005). The DVD includes the Latin musical styles of mambo, cha-cha-cha, merengue, and Afro-Cuban. The members of the band briefly explain each instrument and how it functions within the Latin band to play the various musical styles. Poncho and the band cover the conga, bongos, timbales, güiro, bass, piano, and even the shekere. It also provides some basic information on the clave and tumbao musical patterns.
Although the DVD claims to be instructional, it is not intended to teach anyone how to play these different instruments. Rather, it provides a great overview of the different percussion instruments that comprise the rhythm section of the Latin music band and how they work together to create the rich sounds of Latin rhythm. For anyone who has ever listened to the complex rhythms of salsa, merengue, or Latin jazz and wanted to understand how they are created, this DVD provides an excellent overview of the various percussion instruments and how they sound by themselves and when played together. This DVD also features full songs performed by the band to highlight the instruments and how they sound in each musical genre.
This DVD is highly recommended for Latin dancers who are looking to learn more about Latin music and the instruments behind the sounds they hear on the dance floor. Visit www.ponchosanchez.com for more information about Poncho Sanchez and his band, and then click the links below to purchase Poncho's DVD or music.