David Urquidi

David Urquidi's Biography

David Urquidi is a saxophonist, composer and music educator from Los Angeles, California. Whether traveling the world playing with the legendary band WAR, playing jazz, Latin jazz, rock, Latin, or serving as a bandleader, Urquidi feels right at home.

Urquidi began his professional career in the east L.A., when he formed his first band, Yeska, at age 16. After many years playing clubs, festivals, and every major music venue in Los Angeles, Yeska released two albums and toured internationally. One of Urquidi's compositions for Yeska was used as the theme for the Showtime television series Latino Laugh Festival in 1997.

Urquidi is a graduate of the USC School of Music, where he was the Assistant Director of the USC Latin Jazz Ensemble “ALAJE”. Upon graduating, Urquidi formed his own Latin Jazz Quintet and released a self-titled record. Upon hearing the record, and by recommendation of his musical director, percussionist Poncho Sanchez hired Urquidi for his band on baritone saxophone. Urquidi toured the globe with Sanchez for several years while composing, arranging, and recording for the band.

Following his tenure with Poncho Sanchez, Urquidi began to tour with Lonnie Jordan (the founder of the 70's group WAR) in his jazz/funk group called The Wartet. This association with Jordan led him to join the band WAR in 2011. He currently tours with WAR and is prominently featured on saxophone and as composer on the record Evolutionary. Urquidi has performed on The Queen Latifah Show, Entertainment Tonight, and the The Arsenio Hall Show with WAR.

In addition to performing, Urquidi has always maintained his dedication to music education, and has branched out into the non-profit sector. In 2013, he founded the Los Angeles Youth Music Center to provide free music education to underprivileged youth. As a former music teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Urquidi has witnessed firsthand the importance of music education in the lives of children, and how budget cuts have decimated school music programs. From humble beginnings himself, Urquidi was only able to learn how to play saxophone because of the free music program at school. He wants to use his experience to give that same opportunity back to communities in need, and empower youth to pursue their dreams.

As a saxophonist, Urquidi has performed with such  bands and individuals as WAR (2011- present), Cheech and Chong (2013-present), Poncho Sanchez (2003-2005), Yeska (Founder/Bandleader 1992-2000), James Moody, Sheila E., Hugh Masekela, San Diego Symphony, Tower of Power, Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), George Lopez, Jack Johnson, Andy Montanez, Jose Alberto "El Canario", FEAR, Nestor Torres, Steve Turre, Brian Culbertson, Tiger Army, Don Omar, Little Willie G., Rico Rodriguez, Leonard Dillon “The Ethiopian”, Ernie Andrews, John Santos, Oscar Hernandez, and numerous others.

As a bandleader, Urquidi has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), Cancun Jazz Festival (Mexico), UCLA Jazz Festival (CA), Central Avenue Jazz Festival (CA), The Greek Theatre, Hollywood Palladium, House of Blues, The Knitting Factory Hollywood, MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), and The Broad Stage.

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