SHIFT – Antonio Sánchez & Bad Hombre with Thana Alexa, BIGYUKI & Lex Sadler

Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Doors: 6:30pm | Show: 8pm

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Antonio Sánchez & Bad Hombre
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Four time Grammy winner Antonio Sánchez was a gymnast on Mexico’s Junior National Team, a conservatory-trained classical pianist, the composer and performer of the score for the Oscar-winning film BIRDMAN and is one of the most inventive and heralded drummers on the planet today.

Born in Mexico City, Antonio Sánchez began playing the drums at age five and began to perform professionally in his early teens in Mexico’s rock, jazz and Latin scenes.

After pursuing a degree in classical piano at Mexico’s National Conservatory he enrolled in Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Shortly after moving to New York City in 1999, Antonio was scooped-up by Pat Metheny, for whom he recorded nine albums and toured for 18 years. He has also performed with Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Michael Brecker, Charlie Haden — among others — and on several occasions he was named Modern Drummer’s “Jazz Drummer of the Year”.

Antonio’s popularity soared when he scored Alejandro Iñárritu’s film Birdman, winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Recent projects include his critically acclaimed The Meridian Suite, his sociopolitical electronica & drums exploration Bad Hombre and Lines in the Sand in which Sánchez turns his political anger into a moving musical statement as a protest against injustice in our current political climate and as a tribute to every immigrant’s journey.

Featuring:
Thana Alexa
BIGYUKI
Lex Sadler

Lines In The Sand Antonio Sanchez & Migration CAM Jazz Perhaps not “all politics is personal,” but for Mexican born and raised drummer and composer Antonio Sanchez, who became a naturalized American citizen in 2016, the criminalizing of immigrants and the breathtakingly casual cruelty in the enforcement of border policies by the Trump Administration do feel personal, deeply personal. “I feel so blessed and so thankful for what I've achieved in the United States,” says Sanchez. “But at the same time, I feel completely repulsed by what the United States is doing to immigrants — especially to people coming from the South. […] So whenever and wherever I'm performing, I'm speaking out, trying to make sense of what is going on.” Not surprisingly, Lines In The Sand (CAM Jazz), his follow-up to last year´s remarkable Bad Hombre (CAM Jazz), is a passionate and eloquent statement from a superior artist and emerging social activist. In Lines In The Sand, Sanchez turns his anguish and anger into a moving musical statement, as much a protest against injustice as a tribute to every immigrant’s journey. “With all the political turmoil and ethnic violence that is permeating the country and the world,” writes Sanchez in the liner notes for Lines In The Sand, “it’s been impossible for me not to pay much closer attention to what being a brown-skinned immigrant with a Latin name from a third world country means to me, as well as the implications for my family and my future children.” “As I write these words [in July 2018], families are being torn apart at the US-Mexico border in a grotesque attempt to deter illegal immigration (which happens to be at a historical low). Small immigrant children being scarred for life by these inhumane policies keep reminding me of the millions of people that aren’t as fortunate as I have been and whose journey to come to this country sometimes becomes a matter of sheer life or death.” Working with his band Migration — John Escreet on piano, Fender Rhodes and Prophet Synthesizer; Matt Brewer on acoustic and electric bass; Thana Alexa on vocals and effects and Chase Baird tenor saxophone and EWI — Sanchez builds, in some cases very explicitly, on the social and musical statements in Bad Hombre.  In “Bad Hombres y Mujeres,” which Sanchez calls “a kind of a reverse remix,” he took the bass line from the original tune, “which is a lot simpler in Bad Hombre, and turned it into this kind of almost symphonic piece.” Meanwhile “Home,” an instrumental piece in its previous version, is re-imagined here with lyrics by Alexa. In fact, the voice is a critical element in Lines In The Sand. As in Sanchez’s earlier The Meridian Suite (2015), it is mostly treated like another instrument — now carrying the melody lines, as in the elegiac “Long Road,” now creating textures with the electronics or the keyboards, saxophone, and bass.  “I like to have that human element in my music,” says Sanchez. “Even though the saxophone can be incredibly lyrical, people can relate to the voice in a completely different level.” Voices also appear at strategic points in the extended pieces in Lines In The Sand — “Travesia” and the title track, which bookend the recording — adding to their distinct cinematic quality. In some instances — most notably in the dramatic intro to “Travesia,” an audio verité collage of cries and noises from ICE and police raids — Sanchez makes his point bluntly and unambiguously. For the most part, the pieces suggest soundtracks for imaginary films. It’s an approach to musical storytelling that Sanchez had a chance to explore while working on the score for Birdman (2014). The soundtrack earned him a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, and nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, and BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.   “I really started liking the idea of creating a narrative to tell longer stories,” he says. “And in that narrative, I can develop my characters, which are my melodies, my rhythmic ideas, in a more thorough way. On “Travesia” and “Line In the Sand,” I'm really thinking in a cinematic storytelling kind of way.”  “In ‘Travesia’ I'm really trying to evoke the journey that immigrants have to go through. With the intro, which is so violent, I wanted to give [the listener] a really concise narrative of what happens on one of those raids and what it must feel like. The piece then gets really intense sometimes, and sometimes it gets beautiful and very sparse. I really like contrast in music, so I love to go from the most sparse and softest passage to an incredibly intense section, take you by surprise and, I´d hope, take you on a journey.” The storytelling approach also informs the title track, in which Sanchez includes a fragment of “At the Wall, US/Mexican Border, Texas, 2020” a poem by Mexican-American students and activists Paola Gonzalez and Karla Gutierrez that he found on YouTube.  “I thought their poem was powerful and poignant so I grabbed it and added it to a section of the track that I always felt like it needed something extra,” explains Sánchez. “When I superimposed the poem over that section it gave me goose bumps. “ The journey comes to rest on the story told by yet another voice, that of Boston-based Mexican-American poet, musician, and activist Jonathan Mendoza reading his poem, “Blood Country.”  In Mendoza’s prayer-like cadence, “Blood Country” suggests a glance back before stepping into a new world. It says in part: … I pledge allegiance to staying. I pledge allegiance to going. I pledge allegiance to remaining, and longing, despite knowledge of a forbidden future. I pledge allegiance not to the blood, but to the scar. Not to the blister, but to the thickening of skin, “This was such a perfect statement in which to end,” says Sanchez. “With Lines In the Sand I want people to stop for a second and think about what's going on with a lot of human beings in this precise time in history, and how immigrants are being viewed, not only in the United States but all over the world, and how those human beings can be feeling.”
THANA ALEXA Harmonia Mundi/ Jazz Village “Alexa’s combination of sparkling artistry and unerring confidence make her far more than just another rookie with a debut album.” - DOWNBEAT "...a jazz singer with a global perspective..."  - THE NEW YORK TIMES “Ode to Heroes demonstrates an artist who is thinking so far out of the box that she bends space-time." - ALL ABOUT JAZZ “Her voice is enthralling, her compositions are heart-warming and her arrangements are heart-stopping.” - JAZZTIMES 2016 Downbeat Critic’s Poll Rising Female Vocalist, runner up in the 2014 Made in NY Jazz Competition, winner of the 2011 Jazzon Alpe-Adria International Competition and nominee in the category of Best Jazz Composition for the 2011 PORIN Awards - the Croatian Music Academy’s honor equivalent to the Grammy Awards in America. Thana Alexa released her Harmonia Mundi Jazz Village debut in March 2015, an album of original compositions and vocal arrangements, which bring together elements of jazz, pop and world music. The album mainly features her engaging original compositions, along with vibrant takes on jazz standards like Shorter’s “Footprints,” Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” and Desmond and Dave Brubeck’s “Take 5.” Most importantly, it spotlights Alexa’s ability to engage in rewarding and illuminating musical conversation with some of the music’s most renowned and forward-thinking players. Alexa is an active member of Antonio Sanchez' touring ensemble Migration (Grammy winner for the Birdman film score as well as Pat Metheny’s longtime drummer) and has recorded two critically acclaimed albums with the group (New Life and The Meridian Suite). Alexa also appears on two of guitarist Gene Ess's albums (Fractal Attraction and Eternal Monomyth). Both records - for which Alexa contributed vocals, compositions and lyrics - won the SESAC Jazz Award in 2015 and 2016. The group will be releasing their third album (Absurdist Theater) in August 2016. Thana is a graduate of the New School University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz and Contemporary Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Although born in New York City, Thana grew up in Croatia - her family's country of origin - where she was mentored for many years by vibraphonist and club owner, Bosko Petrovic.
BigYuki is NYC's musical secret weapon. Supported by Grammy Award winning drummer Daru Jones (Jack White, Talib Kweli, Kim Burrell, Esperanza Spalding) and emerging guitarist Randy Runyon (The Karma Exchange, Bilal, Jennah Bell), it is hard to believe that music this big is created by a trio. BigYuki's extensive vocabulary fuels his ability to create hit sounds, attracting the attention of so many artists including several Grammy Award-winning and nominated personalities including QTip, Bilal, Talib Kweli, Harvey Mason, Marcus Strickland, Mark Giuliana, and Me'Shell Ndegeocello. This is a new sound. Infusing elements of Jazz, Classical, HipHop, Soul, Rock, Dance, and Electronica into his compositions, BigYuki's highly-anticipated debut EP promises to be a blood-pumping excursion into the infinite soundscapes of this virtuosic mind.