Multiple Grammy nominee Bobby Sanabria is a leader of Afro-Cuban Brazilian jazz music, and is recognized by peers and press as one of the most articulate musician-scholars of the day. He is a major advocate and educator of clave music, a form of Cuban music defined by rhythm and framework. Sanabria, who is one of the most hailed and popular drummer/percussionists of his generation, has performed and recorded with the legendary figures of jazz, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barretto, Arturo Sandoval, Chico O'Farrill, and the Godfather of Afro-Cuban jazz himself, Mario Bauza. He is a composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educator, and filmmaker. Recipient of numerous prestigious awards, Sanabria graduated from Boston's Berklee College of Music in 1979, receiving their prestigious Faculty Association Award. His work on Grammy-nominated albums include The Mambo Kings and other movie soundtracks. With Mario Bauza, he recorded three CD's, two of which were Grammy-nominated, and was featured in two PBS documentaries about Bauzá. He appeared in a third PBS documentary on the life of Mongo Santamaria. Sanabria's 1993 release of the album ¡NYC Aché! (with his octet Ascensión) received worldwide acclaim and garnered four and half stars in Down Beat magazine, and a nomination for Best Record of the Year by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors (NAIRD). In June 2000, Bobby released Afro-Cuban Dream... Live & In Clave!!! Recorded live at Birdland, it features a big band of twenty all-stars. Critically acclaimed worldwide, it was nominated for a mainstream Grammy as the Best Latin Jazz Album of 2001. Afro-Cuban Dream...Live & In Clave!!! was nominated for the Jazz Journalists Association 2001 Award for the Best Afro-Cuban Jazz Album of the Year. His next recording, ¡Quarteto Aché!, released in 2002, was by the NY Times and Modern Drummer magazine. It was nominated for Best Latin Jazz recording of 2003 by the Jazz Journalists Association. Sanabria received his second Grammy nomination in 2003 for 50 Years of Mambo - A Tribute to Damaso Perez Prado. Bobby's latest recording project, Big Band Urban Folktales, was nominated for a mainstream Grammy in 2008 for best Latin Jazz recording, which also won the 2008 Jazz Journalists Award for Best Latin Jazz Recording of 2008. In November 2008, Sanabria released his DVD "FROM MAMBO TO HIP HOP" - A South Bronx Tale, which won the 2007 ALMA Award for Best Television Documentary. Other awards include an NEA grant as a jazz performer, various Meet the Composer awards, the INTAR Off-Broadway Composer award, the Mid-Atlantic Foundation Arts Connect Grant, an "Outstanding Achievement Award" by Ivan Acosta of Latin Jazz USA, the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award by KOSA, and the 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Mentor Award. He was voted "Percussionist of the Year" for 2005 by readers of DRUM! Magazine. In 2006, he was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame, having a permanent street named after him on the Bronx's famed Grand Concourse. He has been featured as a guest conductor/soloist with orchestras worldwide. He has written numerous articles in national publications, serves as the chair of the International Association of Jazz Education's (IAJE) Afro-Cuban Jazz Resource Team and is Associate Professor at the New School University's Jazz & Contemporary Music Program and Manhattan School of Music. Describing his music, Ben Ratliff of the NY times says "…It's New York up and down, and back and forth across the last century, from the street to the mambo palaces to the conservatories."
Visit the Bobby Sanabria & Quarteto Ache': Masters of Afro-Cuban Jazz website: