Ricardo Sanchez
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Ricardo Sanchez

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Music

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Israel Houghton meets Lincoln Brewster is probably the best way to describe the sound and lyrical content of "Moving Forward", the new CD from Free Chapel featuring worship leader Ricardo Sanchez. Given the popularity of both of Israel and Lincoln I could probably end the review here and you would have a pretty good idea of what's on this CD, but for the benefit of those of you that require clarification, I will continue. Imagine the big urban sound of Israel and New Breed mixed with the accessible rock worship sound of Lincoln Brewster. Now throw in an ever present choir and you end up with a pretty exciting Urban Rock Worship CD. While Lincoln Brewster has nothing to do with this project, Israel Hougton is in fact credited as Music Director, as well as playing guitar and taking lead vocals on a few songs. He also co-wrote most of the songs with Ricardo Sanchez.

Despite Israel's obvious thumbprint on "Moving Forward", the heart of this CD is expressed through Free Chapel's worship leader Ricardo Sanchez. Not only does he have a great voice, he has a strong presence to lead. This presence is a constant reminder that "Moving Forward" is not a worship performance but a real worship service taking place in a real church service. His prayers and exaltations reflect a congregation seeking God to be present in their church, homes and nation. As a collaborative songwriter, Sanchez is an excellent fit with Israel. I would venture to say that the songs on this CD (mostly written by Sanchez/Hougton) are every bit as strong as past Israel Houghton/Michael Gungor collaborations. And that's saying a lot!

One of the most appealing things about "Moving Forward" is the large amount of congregation friendly songs. If you are a worshipper that likes this style of music, then you will have a great time listening and worshiping along. Not only are the songs congregation friendly, but they are worship band friendly as well. Whether your team is rock oriented or more urban, you will probably be able to tackle any of the songs if you want. Let's hope that they eventually make print music available for this great CD. And let's hope that we hear more worship music from Ricardo Sanchez in the future!

Review by Jeremy Dunn - Jeremy Dunn


Free Chapel worship leader Ricardo Sanchez delivers an energetic praise and worship project on Integrity Music, with the participation of Israel Houghton as special guest, songwriter, music director and producer.

Titled Jentezen Franklin Presents - Moving Forward, the project was recorded live at the church’s premises in Gainesville, Georgia.

With a vibrantly infectious pop style, the album brings new music featuring soloists Sanchez and Houghton backed by a large choir and stellar band, with significant audience enthusiasm adding buzz to the songs.

Hit cuts include the opener “Great God”, penned by Sanchez and Houghton and featuring a snaggy Eastern melodic motif, and the slightly gentler “Awesome God”. Sanchez declares freedom and “all things new in Christ” on the album’s title cut, “Moving Forward”, a song strong on vocal power. Other notable cuts are “Say So” and “My Nation Healed”.

If you’re looking for new and high-powered praise music, then this would be your ticket all the way.

- n/a


Free Chapel worship leader Ricardo Sanchez delivers an energetic praise and worship project on Integrity Music, with the participation of Israel Houghton as special guest, songwriter, music director and producer.

Titled Jentezen Franklin Presents - Moving Forward, the project was recorded live at the church’s premises in Gainesville, Georgia.

With a vibrantly infectious pop style, the album brings new music featuring soloists Sanchez and Houghton backed by a large choir and stellar band, with significant audience enthusiasm adding buzz to the songs.

Hit cuts include the opener “Great God”, penned by Sanchez and Houghton and featuring a snaggy Eastern melodic motif, and the slightly gentler “Awesome God”. Sanchez declares freedom and “all things new in Christ” on the album’s title cut, “Moving Forward”, a song strong on vocal power. Other notable cuts are “Say So” and “My Nation Healed”.

If you’re looking for new and high-powered praise music, then this would be your ticket all the way.

- n/a


Discography

Moving Forward-Free Chapel (on Integrity Music)
Oh What A God (Released 2008)

Photos

Bio

Atlanta based worship leader and Christian recording artist, Ricardo, is known nationally and internationally as a singer and notable song writer, with such songs as, I Call Your Name, topping the inspirational radio charts at #3. Ricardo recently joined Pastor Jentezen Franklin at Free Chapel Worship Center both in Gainesville, Georgia, and Irvine, California, as the Minister of Music, and has partnered with a broad range of internationally acclaimed worship leaders such as Israel and New Breed, Darlene Zschech, Martha Munizzi, Mac Powell, Salvador, New Song, Jaci Velasquez, and many more.

Many artists possess multiple influences and skills, but not every singer/songwriter/musician harnesses them at the depth and intensity Ricardo demonstrates on Moving Forward, released through Integrity Music in 2007. Roots like these are planted early and tended lovingly-and that's exactly how it was with Ricardo.

The Beginning Years
The youngest of Vicente and Fransica Sanchez's six children, Ricardo grew up speaking Spanish at home and English at school. He also grew up loving traditional Mexican mariachi music, as well as American rock, pop, and R&B. Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Richard Marx, the Beatles-you name it. Ricardo's life was deeply multicultural long before he even knew the meaning of the word.

While music clearly seemed Ricardo's destiny from the time he began singing in his family band as a child at the age of five, something else even more significant was beginning to call and captivate him-and not something that typically attracts youth.

A turning point in Ricardo’s spiritual life came in his freshman year of high school when a friend invited him to a Young Life meeting. Active in Young Life throughout his high school years, Ricardo grew in his passion for music as well as his knowledge of the Bible, and he wanted to draw nearer to the Lord. But despite his faithful lifelong church attendance, he still carried beliefs about Christ that stood in the way of a closer relationship with Him

"I thought I knew everything about Christianity already, until I went to a Young Life weekend retreat in my junior year," Ricardo says. "They walked us through all the Gospels the first night. Then the next night they talked about sin and Christ dying to pay for our sins. I had never made the correlation, and when suddenly I did, it literally rocked my world. I went outside and found somewhere I could be alone, and just broke down weeping."

"It became clear to me that I hadn't turned everything over to Christ, and that I had to have Him in my heart," Ricardo says.

Now, with his faith in overdrive, Ricardo began to clearly see the connection between his love of music and his love for God. Over the years that powerful combination eventually led him to work alongside Israel Houghton-a sought-after worship leader and multi Grammy-Award winning recording artist-and the two forged a strong friendship early on, and a musical partnership that exposed Ricardo to the realities of the recording industry. The two remain friends and co-writers to this day, with the most recent project being Ricardo’s new studio record, Oh What A God.

With the release of Oh What A God, Ricardo's spiritual and creative existence has taken on a high-octane flair.

"Often people get wrapped up in the idea of 'religion,' but lack a real saving knowledge of who Jesus truly is-just like I had been", says Ricardo. "I hope to carry the message of truth that Christ is more than mere religion and encourage people towards a deep and personal relationship with Him."

What Others Are Saying

"The music of Ricardo Sanchez is anointed for this generation and his sincere heart for God is clearly evident through his songwriting. 'Moving Forward' is AMAZING and a prophetic voice for worship."
Darlene Zschech
Worship Pastor, Hillsong Church

"I knew it was just a matter of time before everyone found out what I already knew...you are anointed to do exactly this!"
Melinda Doolittle
American Idol Finalist

"Ricardo has been one of my closest friends for nearly fifteen years. His ability to communicate relevantly to young and old through great musical skills and transparent cross-cultural worship makes him such a refreshing gift to the church community. Not to mention he's probably the tallest Hispanic you've ever seen! I'm glad to call him a friend and a colleague."
Isarel Houghton
Grammy-Award Winner
New Breed Music