A Grammy-winning saxophonist and member of the SFJAZZ Collective, David Sánchez presents his newest project, Carib – a deeply personal journey using modern jazz to explore the kinship between the West African drum rhythms of Yuba, Calinda, and Sika and music in Haiti, Carriacou, and his native Puerto Rico.
Since his early exposure with Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, Sánchez has become a one of the most celebrated instrumentalists in jazz, recording ten albums as a leader and winning a Latin GRAMMY Award for his 2004 orchestral session, Coral. Over a career full of highlights, he’s performed with a roster of greats including Charlie Haden, Eddie Palmieri, Roy Haynes, Tom Harrell, Roy Hargrove, and Pat Metheny, among others. He co-led the cross-cultural Ninety Miles project with trumpeter Christian Scott and former SFJAZZ Collective vibraphonist Stefon Harris, recording a pair of albums in Havana that traced the common connections between Cuba and the U.S. through the language of jazz. The project was a natural antecedent to Carib, in which Sánchez takes a yet deeper dive into the Afro-Caribbean musical lineage and its shared history with the American jazz tradition.
‘The African diaspora throughout the Americas feels to me like a big river, flowing and changing its formation across various lands, but remaining one immense watercourse. Carib is my continuation of that river, a personal and musical stream I began when I became bandleader for my first album, The Departure (1994) where you can clearly hear Puerto Rican rhythms running throughout. Another fork, my album Melaza (2000), has the most substantial connection with Carib because of its flow and the strong influence of the bomba music tradition from Puerto Rico. I believe some of the greatest contributions to contemporary music and culture have come from the African diaspora throughout the Americas. Unfortunately, there seems to be too little awareness of their influence, especially the vital stories told by the music. So, I wanted to approach this album as a means to pay tribute to all Afro descendent communities who have helped define my music and the culture’s broad ranging beauty and idiosyncrasies.’ (Dávid Sanchez)
David Sánchez begins his description of Carib with this narrative describing his intent and story behind the recording, setting the tone both figuratively and literally. It would be easy to get lost in his commanding performance on the saxophone; he handles the instrument so naturally it feels like his native language. And yet there is so much more, and we welcome the continuation of the story of the African Diaspora, this time with specific attention on Puerto Rico and Haiti. We have much to learn about how African music has traveled over centuries, and documenting the journey falls short when we use only words. This is an ongoing and fluid narrative presented for us all to learn and grow.
Carib is set for release on June 7, 2019 via Stretch Music and Ropeadope, with early listen and preorders beginning on May 3rd. David just finished a run with The SF Jazz Collective, and will return to New York on June 6 – 9 at The Jazz Standard. Look out for David’s music in the indie film Windows On The World, now screening at film festivals throughout the US.