Poncho Sanchez is a Latin band leader who works primarily in the style of salsa. Sanchez and his band have made many hit records and have even won a Grammy. Even though he was born in Texas, Sanchez is influenced by music from around the world, mostly by Afro-Cuban music. He was a big fan of Tito Puente. He was also influenced by American bebop music, specifically Charlie Parker. Originally a guitar player, Sanchez was able to teach himself many other instruments including the congas. This wide range of influences can be seen through his discography, especially in 2005 when he made a album, Do It! with the funk band Tower of Power.
In 2004, Sanchez and his band release an album entitled Instant Party and that is exactly what it was. The album starts off with many high tempo songs like “Joseito” that feature long solo sections featuring the saxophone, keys and most importantly, drums, along with many other members of the band. The album then moves on to a song that feature Tito Puente, one of Sanchez’s influences. The song is entitled “Chile Con Soul” which is just an all around fun song. This is my one of my favorites by him, due to the fact that I had the opportunity to cover this song in high school. “Co Co May May”, the following track, brings the party atmosphere to the forefront of the album as it is filled with fast solos and many percussion instruments. This atmosphere continues to the last track of the album, and probably his most famous song, “Watermelon Man”. This jazz standard has taken a whole new feel with the Sanchez ensemble. Poncho Sanchez is really a staple of the Latin music community for a good reason.