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The best kept secret in music


"Voted Best Latin Jazz Group in Fairfield County Connecticut"

Of all the projects percussionist Johnny Durkin has played in, including a long stint with funk outfit Deep Banana Blackout, he says his current Latin jazz group, Manchado, is "the ONE." For a percussionist, playing Latin and salsa rhythms "is the most fun of all the styles for us to play," Durkin says, and he's been steadily improving his fluidity on drums, learning from Carlos "Go Go" Gomez, and studying bata drums along with bandmate drummer Andy Sanesi. Of Sanesi, Durkin says, "Nightly he blows my mind with his left foot clave, inspirational vocal improvisations, great drum solos and on-the-spot trickery." As a group, Manchado's Latin jazz improvisations, including full vocal numbers, have drawn a faithful, awestruck audience to Acoustic Café, from local musicians to music-heads. The group's weekly Thursday residency there will resume in September, as they've been in Zurich, Switzerland, throughout the past month, playing six nights a week, and beginning to write some original numbers. Those will augment their already sizeable repertoire, including instrumentals from Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo and vocal tunes from Eddie Palmieri, El Gran Combo and Willie Colon. A lot of that writing comes from bassist Rich Zurkowski, one of the area's most sought-after performers. The fierce rhythm section is complemented by Jesse Gibbon on Rhodes, piano and organ ("Whatever keyboard he plays, he destroys!" Durkin says) and the horn power of Rob Somerville on tenor sax, soprano sax and flute. --B.B.

- Fairfield County Weekly


Pewsh - 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Manchado is a 5 piece Latin-Jazz/Salsa group mixing Timba and Funk with Afro Cuban roots. We all sing in Spanish and our lead vocalist is also the drummer. None of us however are actually Spanish. We just all love the style of music so much that we've devoted all our time to performing it. Watch, look and listen and you're sure to enjoy the band. We've been together for about a year as this group but we've all been playing with each other for years in funk, rock, blues, jazz, and fusion bands. We do indeed draw on all the formentioned styles while improvising over latin song styles. This last summer we spent a month in Switzerland where we were well received by audiences from all over the world. When we returned we were voted Best Latin/Jazz Group in the Fairfield County Connecticut Weekly. We look forward to keeping the roots of this music alive and bringing our sound to audiences all over.