posted September 6, 2005

Grammy-Nominated Jazz to Open GPS Season

The Hope College Great Performance Series will open with the Grammy-nominated sounds of jazz saxophonist David Sánchez's quartet on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

Sánchez, a young musician from Puerto Rico, has caught the attention of the jazz world with his unique blend of bombo and plena rhythms from his homeland, and the jazz of the United States.

The "Boston Herald" has deemed the mix a success: "(Sánchez) used the traditions of jazz and Latin America as a launching pad for a dazzling new blend--a fusion that will stand the test of time."

Sánchez's work has earned him several Grammy and Latin-Grammy nominations, most recently in 2005.

He is currently touring and performing solo works with jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny. His Hope College appearance will be his only appearance with his quartet anywhere in the Midwest this year.

Sánchez began playing percussion and drums at age eight before migrating to tenor saxophone four years later. While a student at the prestigious La Escuela Libre de Música in San Juan, he also took up soprano and alto saxophones as well as flute and clarinet.

In 1986 Sánchez enrolled at the Universidad de Puerto Rico in Rio Píedras, but the pull of New York was irresistible. By 1988 he had auditioned for and won a music scholarship at Rutgers University in New Jersey. With such close proximity to New York City, Sánchez quickly became a member of its swirling jazz scene. He gigged with pianist Eddie Palmieri, sometimes sharing the stage with saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera.

At the recommendation of D'Rivera and trumpeter Claudio Roditi, who had admired David's performance, Dizzy Gillespie invited the young saxophonist to join his United Nations Orchestra in 1991.

In 1995 he recorded his first disc, but still toured with various jazz greats such as Kenny Barron, Roy Haynes and legendary drummer Elvin Jones, recording with Barron and Haynes respectively.

Since then his career has continued to rise with his recordings and live appearances. Following one of his solo performances, "Newsday" noted, "To hear David Sánchez solo is to hear a genius at work."

Tickets for the performance are $15 for regular adult admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $5 for children 18 and under. In addition, subscriptions for the Great Performance Series are available for just $55 for regular adult admission, $45 for senior citizens, and $115 for an entire family. The season includes six performances encompassing dance, theatre, classical and jazz music.

Tickets will be available beginning Monday, Sept. 12, and may be purchased by calling (616) 395-7890 or visiting the theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center weekdays 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Additional information and a link to Sánchez's Web site may be obtained by visiting

The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College Avenue at 12th Street.