Bassist Tony Banda made his entry into the world in May of 1956. Growing up in
the Los Angeles area he gained initial exposure to music through his family.
By the age of 5 years old he was performing steady weekend gigs with the
family group, thus receiving invaluable "on-the-bandstand"
experience at an unusually young age. It was during these formative years that
Tony's love and appreciation for all types of music grew immensely, especially
Jazz / Latin / Rhythm & Blues. With over 40 years of experience and a wide
spectrum of musical concepts from which to draw from it's easy to see why he
is one of the top players on the music scene today. He counts among his many
influences legendary Jazz Bassist Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, John Heard and Al
McKibbon. Latin greats Bobby Rodriguez, Cachao, Andy Gonzalez and Soul music
innovators James Jamerson, Rocco Prestia, Bernard Odum and Larry Graham.
For the past 22 years Tony's signature rock steady feel has been the anchor
for one of the worlds most celebrated music ensembles the Poncho Sanchez Latin
Jazz Band. As an original member of the group Tony Banda travels the world
recording and performing with some of the greatest names in Jazz today at
festivals and prestigious venues such as, Carnegie Hall. Since 1996 he has
also been performing with the Banda Bros. Group, which he co-leads with his
brother Ramon. The group which features him on acoustic upright is a vehicle
for his more adventurous side and has been receiving rave reviews from critics
and fans alike.
Tony has always taken immense pleasure in performing. His joyful
spirit and outgoing personality connects with the audience and allows
them to become a part of the musical experience and is one of the many
highlights of Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band performances. Without a
doubt, Tony Banda's powerful grooving bass lines on the groups 1999
Grammy Award winning CD Latin Soul propel the performance to a higher
Although he began his musical life as a guitarist, Ramon took over the
drum chair in the family band in 1967. Along the way he has become one
of the most respected and in demand Drummer/Percussionists today. His
unique style and hard grooving approach evolved naturally from his
formative years on the Los Angeles music scene.
Most familiar to U.S. and international audiences for his work on
timbales with the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, Ramon participated
in over 22 recordings, countless world tours and educational workshops
over the past two decades. Ramon has now ventured out on his own,
working with a variety of artists, including live performances,
session work and private instruction.
Ramon's musical tastes run wide and deep from; Rashaan Roland Kirk to
Hank Williams and everything in between. His drumming influences
include; Max Roach, Billy Higgins, Jeff Hamilton, Clyde Stubblefield
and Al Jackson as well as percussion greats; Tito Puente, Manny
Oquendo, Willie Bobo and Orestes Vilato. Ramon's versatility on drums
and percussion have allowed him to perform and/or record with many
legends of Jazz and Latin music such as; Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente,
Cal Tjader, Freddie Hubbard, Carmen McRae, Mongo Santamaria, Celia
Cruz, Eddie Harris, Al McKibbon and The Jazz Crusaders. As well as the
innovators of today including Chick Correa, Dianne Reeves, Joey De
Francesco, Arturo Sandoval and Terence Blanchard. Playing with an
energy and conviction that is soulful, relaxed and intensely swinging,
Ramon signs all of his art that way, but never more so than when he
along with his brother Tony head up their own ensemble, The Banda
Bros. Group. Formed in 1996 with a powerful emphasis on
straight-ahead Jazz as well as drawing from the rich Afro-Caribbean
traditions. The sextet has a unique talent for bringing insight and
imagination to original material as well as covered classics,
providing the perfect balance of accessibility and invention.