Savor member since 2015, Sergio Gonzalez
Born in El Paso, TX, I grew up listening to a lot of music, thanks to my parents and older siblings. Whether it was guitar trio music (Trio Los Panchos) playing in my dad’s room, cumbias (Sonora Dinamita) coming from the kitchen, Latin-Pop (Los Bukis, Luis Miguel), Rock (Van Halen, KISS), or Metal (Slayer, Iron Maiden) throughout the rest of my house, I latched onto and learned to enjoy all of it!
Drums were the key
My older brother played drums, and I was just in awe of the instrument. I joined the school band in 5th grade and continued throughout college, performing with various ensembles such as marching band, jazz band, orchestra, and percussion ensemble.
My favorite classes in school were Jazz Band and Marching Band. Playing snare drum in marching band was where I developed my “traditional grip.” This happened over time, with lots of practice hours on rudiments.
People who inspired me
Of course I have heard and been influenced by many, many great players over the years. Some of my favorite drummers are Alex Van Halen, Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Chris Layton — to name a few.
Moving an audience
My first paying gigs as a teenager were with older musicians — playing Soul and R&B music. During this time, I learned a lot of smooth R&B and old-school hits, such as “Let’s Get it On,” “Tighten’ Up,” “What You Won’t Do For Love,” etc.
There’s no way I can describe the feeling of making the audience get up to dance. “If you do that, you’re doing your job right!” is what the singer and bass player told me. It’s advice I will never forget.
The importance of groove
I’ve performed with many bands, in a multitude of different styles, including Blues, Cumbias, Funk, Salsa, Samba, and more. Thanks to these musical experiences, I developed a deep sense of pocket and groove throughout the years. Today, I am glad to be a well-rounded drummer that loves variety, which is a perfect combination when playing the music of Santana.
Recommended by Savor members Steven Elowe and Chico Hernandez, I joined the band in May 2022, and became part of the band’s dynamic rhythmic landscape. The fusion and variety of genres in Santana’s music is what I find intriguing.
Aside from playing drums professionally, I’m also an audio engineer. After moving to Los Angeles in 2003, I served as the Lead Audio Mixer for DirecTV for 14 years. Currently I mix audio from my home studio, as well as teaching drumset lessons privately.