Born in Mexico City on November 1st, 1971, Antonio Sánchez began playing the drums at age five. Sanchez pursued a degree in classical piano at the National Conservatory in Mexico and in 1993 moved to Boston. There he enrolled at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory, where he graduated magna cum laude in jazz studies.
Since relocating to New York City in 1999, Sánchez has become one of the most sought-after drummers in the international jazz scene. His musicianship is featured in more than 100 albums, and he has been the drummer of choice for 20-time Grammy® winner Pat Metheny, participating in virtually every project the famed guitarist has created since 2000.
Sánchez and Pat Metheny have recorded ten albums together (Speaking of Now, The Way Up, Day Trip, Tokyo Day Trip, Quartet Live, Unity Band, Tap: Book of Angels Volume 20, KIN (←→) and The Unity Sessions), three of which have been awarded Grammys®. Sanchez has also collaborated with today’s most prominent jazz musicians including Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, Christian McBride, John Patitucci, Donny McCaslin, Danilo Perez and David Sanchez.
He has released five critically acclaimed albums as a leader. His solo debut, Migration (CAM Jazz, 2007) was called “one of the best new releases of 2007” by All About Jazz and featured an impressive lineup that included Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Chris Potter, David Sanchez and Scott Colley. His second solo effort, Live in New York (CAM Jazz, 2010), was recorded during a four-day run at the Jazz Standard in New York City. The albums New Life (CAM Jazz, 2013), Three Times Three (CAM Jazz, 2014, Europe/2015, US) and The Meridian Suite (CAM Jazz, 2015) followed. Sánchez's 2017 album, Bad Hombre, received a Grammy® nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.
Sánchez’s original score for Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s film Birdman (2014) earned him a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and BAFTA Award for Best Film Music; he won the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Score and Satellite Award for Best Original Score. (That soundtrack is available on Milan Records.) Other featured soundtrack works by Sánchez include Política, Manual de Instrucciones, Get Shorty and, in Japan, Kirin Tea, for which Sánchez’s compositions have become a recognizable part of daily television there. The forthcoming Channels of Energy with Vince Mendoza and the WDR Big Band confirms Sanchez’s compositional and drumming dynamism.
Sánchez has taken part in drum festivals, clinics and master classes around the world, including the Modern Drummer Festival Weekend, "Zildjian Day" and the Montreal Drum Festival.
Antonio Sánchez has won many international polls and was ranked #1 jazz drummer in Modern Drummer Magazine Readers’ Polls for 2015 and 2016 as well as the Jazz Times Critics Poll of 2015. He's endorsed by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals and Sticks (Antonio Sanchez Signature model), Remo Drumheads and LP Percussion.