Faculty A-Z

  • Profile:

    Multiple Grammy nominated as a leader and on numerous other projects as a sideman - drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educator, film-maker, bandleader, and multi-cultural warrior, Bobby Sanabria has performed and recorded with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Paquito D’Rivera, Ray Barretto, Candido, Henry Threadgill, Patato, Chico O'Farrill, Arturo Sandoval, Francisco Aguabella, Larry Harlow, and Afro-Cuban jazz Godfather, Mario Bauzá. His first big band recording, Live & in Clave!!! was nominated for a mainstream Grammy in 2001. In 2003 he was nominated for a Latin Grammy for "50 Years of Mambo", A Tribute to Damaso Perez Prado. DRUM! Magazine named him Percussionist of the Year in 2005. His 2008 Grammy nominated, “Big Band Urban Folktales” with his big band, on the Jazzheads label received worldwide critical acclaim. This South Bronx native of Puerto Rican parentage is a 2006 inductee into the Bronx Walk of Fame where he has a street named after him. In 2009 the Afro-Cuban jazz Orchestra he directs at the Manhattan School of Music was nominated for a Latin Grammy for his majestic tribute to Mario Bauzá and Machito for Kenya Revisited Live!!!, a reworking of the music for Machito’s greatest album, Kenya, on its 50th anniversary. He holds a BM from the Berklee College of Music and is on the faculty of the New School and the Manhattan School of Music where he conducts Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Bands at both schools. He is associate producer of the TV documentaries “The Palladium: Where Mambo Was King” shown on BRAVO, winner of the IMAGINE award for best TV documentary of 2003 and “From Mambo to Hip Hop”, shown on PBS in 2007 won an ALMA award for best TV documentary. He is the author of the acclaimed video series, Getting Started on Congas and he is a featured performer on the DVD, Modern Drummer Festival 2006, from Hudson Music. Mr. Sanabria was a consultant and featured in the 4 hour documentary, LATIN MUSIC USA, which aired on PBS in 2009. In 2010 Mr. Sanabria's big band appeared at Lincoln Center Out of Doors performing for over 20,000 people shattering the attendance record for any event ever held there. His newest recording, released in 2011, has him conducting the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra and is titled Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!! Mr. Sanabria was recently named 2011 Percussionist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association and #6 in the 2011 Downbeat Critics Poll for Percussionist of the Year.

    Current Courses:

    Afro-Cuban Orchestra