His newest creation, the aptly-titled Taste + See, is true to form; a range of flavors—Latin, Caribbean, pop, R&B, soul, and even rock influences— together comprising a bountiful praise & worship buffet. The 14 diverse tracks, all penned or co-penned by Ricardo, add to the singer’s already robust discography which features anthems sung around the globe, like the GRAMMY®-nominated “Every Prayer” and Dove Award winning “The Power of One,” along with musical hallmarks “It’s Not Over (When God Is In It)” and “Moving Forward,” among many others. In addition to hundreds of concert and church appearances each year, Ricardo has served as a worship leader at Atlanta’s Free Chapel and Pastor John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, as well as in his current role at multiple Faith Church campuses in Missouri and Florida. His heart also firmly resides in mentoring fellow worship leaders through his Windows 2 Worship seminars.
While he cherishes his calling in worship ministry, his wife Jennette and their three boys—Ricardo Jr., Josiah
“I really believe in what we sing. I really live what we sing,” says Ricardo. “I dedicated my whole family into the ministry of Jesus, so for us, it’s just who we are.”
Taste + See is Ricardo’s highly-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s studio session, Grand Symphony. If Grand Symphony was a polished showcase of sights and sounds born from a season of transition following Josiah’s accident and recovery, Taste + See is a colorful invitation to the table of God rooted in community. Recorded live at San Antonio’s Cornerstone Church, the evening was particularly special for Ricardo. “I just feel like I’m in my element when I’m live, in front of people playing, responding to the environment and the atmosphere,” Ricardo explains. “It’s what I love to do—minister to people through worship and praise and encourage people with the Gospel through music. You never know what you’re going to get. It’s real time, and you’ve got one shot. For the live record, we wanted to catch some of that spontaneous flow and open worship.”
Ricardo spent countless hours with co-producer Louie Higuera working through the set list and rehearsing for the live recording of Taste + See. Handpicking each member of his band, both for their skilled musicianship and hearts for worship, the result is an eclectic mix of tightly-performed originals. The new songs may span an array of genres, but they each radiate an unabashed joy and upbeat enthusiasm, a noted contrast to the more introspective direction of today’s modern worship movement.
From the funky title track, culled from the Psalms, to a reimagined version of fan-favorite “Relentless”— the only previously recorded selection—Taste + See showcases Ricardo’s diversity as an artist and strength as a songwriter. Nothing reveals this powerful combination more than the modern hymn “The Bridge,” which features guest vocals from Dove Award-winning powerhouse Blanca. The song’s lyrics paint a reverent depiction of the crucifixion, a topic Sanchez was hesitant to tackle initially. “If we’re going to write about the cross, I said to my co-writers, ‘Let’s be unique; let’s be creative. Let’s be intentional about bridging not just sinners to Jesus, but old to new,’” he remembers of the writing session. The result is a simple, yet poetic anthem that builds to a crescendo. “It couldn’t have come out better,” Ricardo adds of Blanca’s contribution. “I’m so excited for people to hear this side of her—the worship side of her.”
What began as a single guitar riff in Ricardo’s head became the catalyst for another standout, the anthemic “You Are,” a congregationally-friendly song he hopes can break down ethnic and denominational barriers. “I’m really excited about that song because I think any church can sing it. I think the black gospel church, the Latino church, the community church can all grab it.”
Meanwhile, the Caribbean feel of “Over Me” personifies Ricardo’s affinity for live recordings. The song came together only two days prior to the recording, and he still wasn’t sold on its overt tropical flare—so much so that he had a back-up selection in place. However, when the band performed it during the event, the live setting brought out fresh colors Ricardo hadn’t seen before, and the song came to fruition in an entirely natural way. “All of a sudden, it started taking on this whole new leaning,” he remembers. “The audience was dancing and this big cheer came up.
And I’m thinking, ‘Well, I guess we’ve got ourselves a song here.’” As with any endeavor he pursues, Ricardo simply hopes he leaves something lasting. It’s a sentiment that fuels his Windows 2 Worship ministry as well. Visiting local churches and coaching countless worship leaders online, Ricardo aims to help congregations around the world worship more freely and authentically.
“What I think are my crumbs could be somebody’s Thanksgiving meal,” he shares of his experience. “The smallest thing I’ve learned in ministry could save a young worship leader years of frustration, maybe even his marriage, maybe even his job. From that perspective, whenever we go into a church, we always want to leave more than just music. We want to deposit what we’ve learned.”
This is the same heartbeat of Taste + See. With every note, Ricardo Sanchez hopes to leave listeners with something more. “I don’t know why God’s allowed me to make records and write songs, but man, I’m grateful, and I’ll do it for the rest of my life,” he resolutely declares. “We always look at our records as a tool to help people communicate Jesus in whatever vernacular or whatever way they can… If they can use the lyric in a sermon, if they can use a melody to help a youth group, if they can give a song to somebody and get them to the table to just start talking about Jesus, that’s the whole crux of the record—that people would taste and see that the Lord is good.”