If you're anything like me, white bread stuck in the jazz of the twenties, thirties, and forties, do yourself a large favor and check out this You Tube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTirI-dSfKs Do it now.
Heart still pounding? I thought so. That terrific young piano player is Peru's gift to the musical world. He's performing with the AfroPeruvian Project on the video, and he's convinced me there's more in life than Jelly Roll Morton playing “I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say”.*
An only child, Luis Enrique (Kiki) Sanchez grew up with music in Lima. His father, trumpet player Maximo Sanchez led the Orquesta Majestic and Kiki's love of music first stirred when he attended the rehearsals of his father's band. He eventually joined the Orquesta Majestic and later also played with La Peru Salsa All Stars and Anibal Lopez' La Unica.
He moved to Miami and played with jazz legends Jim Gasior, Cachao, Mike Gerber, Arturo Sandoval, Mike Orta and Eddie Barzola's Oriente. Oriente, together with Diana Molinari and Cassandra Hanna helped polish his classical techniques.
When I asked him (via internet) who most influenced him, he credited his mother for who he is as a person and pianist Bill Evans for his musical growth.
He holds a Master's degree in Music and his musical interests are wide: producing, performing, composing, arranging and education. And he describes his genre thusly: Jazz, Latin Jazz, Pop, Classical and World Music. His style? A combination of Jazz, Latin, Classical and World Music.
Piano and keyboards are his preferred instruments and he also plays the melodica, Latin percussion and the cajon. (My friend Wikipedia told me: “The melodica, also known as the "pianica", "blow-organ" or "key-flute", is a free-reed instrument similar to the melodion and harmonica. It has a musical keyboard on top, and is played by blowing air through a mouth piece that fits into a hole in the side of the instrument. Pressing a key opens a hole, allowing air to flow through a reed. The keyboard is usually two or three octaves long.” Still showing off, Wikipedia then said the cajon is “a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru, played by slapping the front face (generally thin plywood) with the hands.”
More questions to Kiki elicited that his biggest success will come soon and that his musical dream is to bring motivation, good energy and peace through his music.
And one more question: tell me something about yourself that most people don't know.
His answer: “Many people know me as a jazz, Latin jazz musician, but soon I will go in a different direction, releasing a Prayers and Meditation CD. I am very excited about this project because I believe that one of my purposes in life is to bring peace, happiness and positive energy through music.”
And the big news, of course, is that if you'd like to see Kiki Sanchez and his trio play in person, just come along November 19 to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden and join us, miamiartzine, in celebrating our 7th birthday. Starting at 6:30 pm, it's Salsa In The Garden, a fund raising birthday party with drinks, hors d'oeuvres, dancing and entertainment by the Kiki Sanchez Trio, Thania Sanz with Julian Cifuentes, Marlow Rosado y La Riqueňa and Maria Rivas displaying her artwork. See you there.
*You can catch this classic on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5k9E717QVM