LA Music Critic 2017 Nominee Nancy Sanchez is a singer-songwriter with a gifted voice and distinct lyrics. She is known as a superb jazz singer but she also mixes pop and jazz and Latin and other genres into her repertoire. With musical influences that include Joni Mitchell, Regina Spektor, Feist, Paul Simon and Billy Joel, Sanchez is well prepared to use music and lyrics to chronicle the bittersweet experiences of a young woman falling in and out of love — experiences than run through many of her songs. Born in Toluca, Mexico, Sanchez immigrated to the United States with her family as a young girl. Music was part of her childhood, and it wasn’t long before she was writing music. One of the first songs she remembers writing was “La Bandera de los Estados Unidos” about the U.S. flag during a two-day bus trip to San Diego. Growing up, Sanchez spent her formative years in Anaheim’s exploding Latin community, playing with a local Mariachi academy and honing her musical skills. Later, she discovered the world of jazz, a genre she would fall in love and distinguish herself with performing monthly at Steamer’s Jazz Club in Fullerton. That turned out to be a wise decision as Sanchez has now won the Orange County Music Award for Best Latin and Best Jazz three times. Her newest full-length album, American Novio is a departure from her jazz trajectory; it is all in Spanish and it is high tempo Latino pop-oriented. English or Spanish she gets the message across with a great new beat.