Ramon and Tony Banda are brothers from a musical family. They are best known to audiences worldwide for their more than twenty years of solid, uncompromising work in the celebrated music ensemble, the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band—Tony on bass and Ramon on drums and timbales.
Ramon, born in 1954, and Tony, born in 1955, were raised in Norwalk, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. They were surrounded by music in their home and in the neighborhood. By 1961 the brothers were performing regularly all across Southern California. During these formative years, the brother’s love and appreciation for a wide variety of musical styles developed—especially Jazz, Latin, and Rhythm & Blues.
The Bandas have participated in countless tours, played every major music festival around the globe, and recorded with artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, Celia Cruz, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Smith, Woody Herman, Ray Charles, Carmen McRae, Mongo Santamaria, Al Jarreau, Chick Correa, Bette Midler, Dianne Reeves, Joey DeFrancesco, Al McKibbon, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Pesci, Francisco Aguabella, the Jazz Crusaders, Eddie Harris, Arturo O’Farrill, and Terence Blanchard.
The Banda Brothers Sextet plays with an energy and conviction that is soulful, relaxed, and intensely swinging. Formed in 1996, the group puts a powerful emphasis on straight-ahead Jazz, as well as drawing from the rich Afro-Caribbean traditions.
The Bandas have assembled some of the most talented, young musicians working today, including Javier Vergara (tenor sax), Chris Barron (piano), Francisco Torres (trombone), and Joey De Leon (percussion). The group 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. Their 2004 debut release Acting Up! is on the WJ3 Label.