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Angelica Sanchez

Pianist and composer Angelica Sanchez knew that things weren’t exactly happening for her in Tempe, Ariz. She was already plugged into the small jazz community that existed there but at the same time she and her husband, tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, both yearned to break out and pursue the kind of renegade strains of jazz that beckoned from New York City’s Downtown scene. “We were living out there and trying to play creative music, which is nearly impossible,” she says. “The scene is a little more relaxed, and you’re not always challenged. You can be, but it’s something you really have to look for.”

So when the opportunity to move to New York City fell into their laps in 1995, Tony and Angelica jumped on it. As she recalls, “Our good friend, a trumpet player who had been subletting an apartment in New York City for 20 years, called us out of the blue one day to say, ‘Hey, you guys want my pad? You can have it.’ So I said to Tony, ‘Let’s go. Let’s get outta here! This is a sign!'”

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