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Multi-Grammy Winner Antonio Sanchez’s Drum Score Sets the Cinematic Rhythm of Birdman

Sanchez Embarks on World-Tour with Pat Metheny This Month

(Hollywood, CA) September 26, 2014 — Grammy Award winning drummer and composer Antonio Sanchez scores Fox Searchlight’s dark comedy Birdman, opening in theaters October 17, 2014. Directed by Academy® Award nominee Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, 21 Grams), the film stars Michael Keaton as washed-up actor Riggan Thompson, who must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play to reclaim his past glory. The film, which also stars Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts, will close the New York Film Festival on October 11 following critically acclaimed showings at the Telluride and Venice Film Festivals. The soundtrack will be released October 14, 2014 on Milan Records.


In his first role as a film composer, Sanchez recorded parts of the drum score by improvising from the script’s themes and collaborating with director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu prior to filming began. Gonzalez Iñárritu needed the film shoot to be cohesive and, with cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki’s extended tracking shots, well-timed. The director relied on Sanchez’s drum score to set the pace for the film’s cast; with the rhythm of the drums tied to the flow of the camera, all tethered to Riggan’s journey towards self-discovery. “Antonio and I rented a studio one week before I started shooting and he recorded and improvised 60 tracks based on some objectives or emotions the film needed. That helped me enormously and sometimes I even used it on the stage for the actors to understand the rhythm of the scene. Rhythm is everything in cinema,” says Gonzalez Iñárritu.

Four-time Grammy® Award winner Antonio Sanchez is considered by many critics and musicians alike to be one of the most prominent drummers, bandleaders and composers of his generation. Born in Mexico City, he started playing drums at the age of five and began performing professionally in his teens. Sanchez pursued a degree in classical piano at the National Conservatory in Mexico, and in 1993, he moved to Boston to enroll at Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in Jazz Studies. Since his move to New York City in 1999 Sanchez has become one of the most sought after drummers in the international jazz scene. He has been the drummer of choice for twenty-time Grammy winner Pat Metheny and has been part of virtually every project the famed guitarist has put together since 2000. They’ve recorded eight albums together, and three of them have been awarded the Grammy. Sanchez’s continuous search as an artist has pushed him to compose and lead his own bands and ensembles. He has released three critically acclaimed albums under his name.

He has also been the featured cover artist in some of the most widely read drum magazines in the industry, including Modern Drummer, Percussioni, Jazzit, Drumset, Drums and Percussion,and Musico Pro. Last year, he won the Modern Drummer Reader’s Poll for 2013’s ‘Best Jazz Drummer,’ and has been a top contender since the early 2000’s. He’s also been among the top ranked drummers on DownBeat’s critic’s and reader’s polls since 2004.

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