Spotlight: Ruben Sanchez

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Plucking a stand-up bass and sporting shades, Ruben Sanchez is the epitome of cool. But Trio Piel Canela, the group he performs with at La Rosa Blanca restaurant, is hot! hot! hot! With acoustic guitarists to the left and right, the three fire up a fiesta atmosphere with a mix of traditional Mexican songs, oldies and rock ’n’ roll, from “Malaguena” to “La Bamba.” Their three-part harmonies are full-bodied and full of feeling. “We do music from the heart—we really immerse ourselves in it,” says Sanchez of the group, which has been together for about 10 years. Sanchez himself started on acoustic guitar at age 13 (he’s now 38), teaching himself bass, piano and violin along the way. “To be honest, I don’t know anything about reading music or music lessons,” says Sanchez, a single dad who lives in West Sacramento with his two sons. “I would say this is a gift.” Catch Trio Piel Canela (and chow down on some good chips and salsa) starting at 6 p.m. on Fridays at La Rosa Blanca, 2813 Fulton Ave. in Sacramento, and at 5 p.m. on Saturdays at La Rosa’s new location, 402 Natoma St. in Folsom.

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