Antonio Sanchez

Gulnara Khamatova

There has always been something special about a good drummer-led band, and this installment of our weekly playlist features five new examples, spanning a galactic range of style.

keanstage.com

Birdman was the first film drummer Antonio Sanchez scored.  A great challenge presented to him by director Alejandro G. Inarritu.

“In the beginning I had no idea how to approach it,” Sanchez said.  “But when Inarritu told me that what he wanted was me improvising, being really free, expressive and emotional like the way I try to be when I’m playing drums, then I understood.  It was very easy once we figured out the approach.”

Sanchez will perform a live set to Birdman as its projected on a screen at Wilkins Theater on Kean University’s campus in Union. 

Ang Santos / WBGO

Page after page of paperwork is one of many hurdles a non-American recording artist faces coming stateside.

“US immigration law requires that somebody coming to the US to perform have an employment visa,” said Mathew Covey, immigration lawyer and director of Tamizdat, an organization that helps foreign artists address the hurdles presented by US Immigration policy.

Justin Bettman

Antonio Sánchez, the virtuoso drummer and composer, can often be found on tour — tending rhythmic fires for guitarist Pat Metheny; leading Migration, his own dynamic post-bop band; or performing his solo drum score at screenings of Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), the 2014 Alejandro G. Iñárritu film. 

Before he became one of the most sought-after drummers of his generation, Antonio Sanchez was in Mexico City, training to be a top gymnast.  While mastering his floor routine – and destroying his young body in the process – he picked up drum sticks and his focus shifted to music.