When Antonio Sanchez eats at restaurants in New York, he’ll often ask the busboys where they’re from. Sanchez, Pat Metheny’s drummer for the past 17 years and the leader of his own band, Migration, is from Mexico City, so he identifies with his fellow Latino immigrants. Sometimes he’ll get into long conversations with them, and those talks linger in his head when he’s composing new music.
“The accusation against immigrants is that they’re lazy, they don’t pay taxes and just soak up resources,” he says. “But when I talk to these guys, it’s obvious that the truth is the exact opposite. No one works harder than they do.”