Navarro was born in 1944 in La Consulta, a township in Mendoza, Argentina’s wine state. Pancho wasn’t quite a teenager when his father, a policeman and amateur guitarist, gave him his first guitar and showed him the basics of playing it. He began taking formal lessons at thirteen. While working with local dance bands he immersed himself in tango and the Argentine folklore that surrounds it; as he studied classical guitar he pored over recordings by Andrés Segovia, Los Romeros (the Spanish guitar-playing family of the ‘60s), John Williams, and Paco de Lucía.
Meanwhile, he brought his guitar all over South America, settling the longest in Chile and Mexico. Wherever he went he was hired by the best local musicians and singers. In 1984, after a decade in Mexico City, Pancho took his wife and three children and moved to New York: “the city I have looked up to ever since I was a kid, and considered to be the most important place for a musician’s career.” The gamble paid off. He became a first-call Latin guitarist on A-list sessions – everything from the soundtrack of The Mambo Kings to hip-hop and reggae tracks.