Mongolian Monkfish
Gig Seeker Pro

Mongolian Monkfish

Greenwich, Connecticut, United States | SELF

Greenwich, Connecticut, United States | SELF
Band Rock Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Mongolian Monkfish dive into the New York City music scene"

As Mongolian Monkfish take the stage Nov. 23 at Sullivan Hall, the audience's urge to stand up and dance will be as natural as the force of gravity. Monkfish's fresh, funky and soulful tunes from their yet-to-be-titled album will debut at this popular downtown music venue.
The band consists of New York residents, singer Jamie Khalifa, guitarist Gianni Barbera, bassist Nick Coletti and drummer Sam Lebreton.
Khalifa and Barbera's chemistry on the stage can be seen from a mile away. This duo has been playing together since the early days of high school; both are constantly feeding on each other's ideas and energy.
Coletti and Lebretton also were high school band mates, joining forces with their now singer and guitarist. Their styles fit perfectly with Khalifa's and Barbera's, all of them have a classic funk rock, blues and soulful background.
"The first time we played together was remarkable. I have played with a lot of people before and it usually takes a while to get into the groove of things with musicians that you've never played with before. We were just improvising and jamming the first time we got together, the first thing we played together was gold. We all felt something," Barbera said.
Monkfish have a musical "it" factor that most current popular music lack. This factor is the ability to appeal to a wide range of age groups. "When my father listened to Mongolian Monkfish he said the band has the potential to achieve a rock revival.
He also added that when turning on the radio these days typically one hears commercial lyrics and guitar riffs. These boys have intelligent lyrics mixed with innovative and energetic tones," senior Taedra Podenti said.
Monkfish combine their music inspirations to create their unique style. "In terms of vocal style I learned a lot listening to Jimi Hendrix. There is a conventional soul and funk style in my voice as well, definitely inspired by Marvin Gaye, George Clinton and Michael Jackson. As a band we are inspired by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime and many [1990s] rock bands," Khalifa said.
Monkfish's music is different from any popular music currently out there. Concerning the state of pop music today, Barbera said, "When you turn on the radio these days, it's honestly sometimes God-awful. A lot of bubble gum stuff. They sell sex and the majority of people don't write their own music."
Khalifa was eager to express his opinion on the matter. "It is popular to everyone's ears but mine. There is a serious lack of soul and music talent and it is commercialized. Many of the songs I hear that are dubbed ‘popular' are full of computer-edited auto, the singer's voice seriously altered," he explained.
"Traditionally when we have played publically previously, people don't know what to expect, and then our music speaks for itself," Barbera said predicting how the band will be received by the crowd at Sullivian Hall.
Attendees of the concert on Nov. 23 are likely to be instantly hooked to "Mark Martino" and its 1970s style funky guitar riffs. This song was inspired by the band's good friend Mark Martino.
Monkfish was playing at a party, jamming and experimenting with a new song. Martino could not help but dance to the beat, and from there Khalifa was inspired and started singing about his friend busting a move.
"We had a bunch of people over at Gianni's house that have never heard us before and when we started playing, they were shocked. It was the first time seeing people react to our music like that," Khalifa said.
The song "Girls" was born when Monkfish were at practice and playing around with the bass line of the popular Beastie Boys song of same name. Coletti inverted the baseline, creating a new sound for their own "Girls" song. Barbera fills the song in with background vocals perfectly harmonizing with Khalifa.
"Anyways" is Monkfish's blues ballad, reminiscent of a Beatles meets Janis Joplin type sound. Khalifa erupts in vocal solos as the rest of the band backs him up and the rhythm changes intensely throughout the song from fast to slow. "I love playing ‘Anyways.' We tear up the song in a way that nobody does these days," Khalifa said. This will be the first time the band performs this song live.
These three songs will be also accompanied by many more crowd pleasers at Sullivan Hall. More upcoming shows include Trash Bar on Dec. 12 and The Shrine on Jan. 21. - Pace Press


We have not released any form of music. We have recordings online at



Jamie Khalifa Vocals, Trumpet
Having been born and raised into a highly musical family, Jamie Khalifa took an early liking to all kinds of music. This early taste for music was especially sculpted by the soul, classic rock and early Motown tracks often played on his mothers record player. At the age of 9 he picked up the trumpet and was immediately infatuated by the new sounds and rhythms he could create. Jamie was trained in classical and jazz music from that time until the end of high school. Playing the trumpet was also the singers first taste of live performance which he thrived on from the start.

Gianni Barbera Guitar
Gianni grew up on the coast of Connecticut in a musical household. When he was four he began picking out his first notes on the piano and he hasnt stopped playing music since. From piano to viola and eventually from viola to guitar, his passion for creating new sounds and styles never ceased. He truly fell in love with music when he began playing in a high school band with fellow monkfish Jamie Khalifa. The two have been creating music since 2003, and their dedication to getting this unique sound on the airwaves is unwavering.

Daniel Delfin Guitar, Keyboard, Percussion
Daniel Delfin began his musical career at the age of 7 in the city of Santa Barbara, Venezuela. His first instrument was a Cuatro (A small guitar with 4 strings, similar to the ukulele). At age 12 he picked up the Spanish Acoustic Guitar influenced by his relatives who were also musicians. Daniels musical influences were Boleros, Ballads, Rancheras, and other soft Latin rock. He started singing, playing the keyboard, and learned percussion at the age of 16. Shortly after, he began playing electric guitar and experimenting with heavy metal and rock & roll.

Nick Coletti Bass
Nick Coletti started playing piano at the age of three by listening to his parents music and figuring out the notes by ear. Piano carried him straight into the bass, which he started playing when he was 12. He also picked up the guitar around this time, and drums a year later. Nick concentrated on the bass as it was his favorite instrument of the four. From the age of 12 on, Nick has been in many bands that range almost all styles of music. He has been able to adapt to any style and pull it off with ease. However, it is Mongolian Monkfish where Nick can show his true colors on the bass and let his own style shine.

Sammy Lebreton Drums
Sammy Lebreton grew up in Cos Cob, CT. At seven years old, Sammy started taking piano lessons, which developed his musical ear and abilities as a musician. From there, he taught himself how to play the guitar and drums, and fell in love with writing and playing music. In his teenage years, Sammy played drums and guitar for several local bands, gaining much experience in playing music with other musicians. In addition to playing and writing, he has been recording and engineering music since high school. Growing up in a very musical family, Sammy has had lots of support in developing as a musician.

Benjamin Pinkert Trumpet
Benjamin Pinkert grew up in Cos Cob, CT. At the age of 9 Ben started playing trumpet at Cos Cob School where he began a journey to refine his natural musical talent. From there, he taught himself how to play the guitar throughout his teen years and continued to improve his trumpet skills playing in the Greenwich High School jazz ensemble, marching band, and concert band. During his tenure as second trumpet with the jazz ensemble Ben competed with his peers against other jazz ensembles all over Connecticut, as well as Orlando, Florida and San Francisco, California. Growing up in an environment filled with classic rock like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and ACDC supplemented Bens knowledge of jazz trumpet with that of rock and roll. Working at Greenwich Music with Sammy and other musicians gave Ben a sense of the local music scene, forming connections with bands in the area.

Oskar Perskaas Tenor Saxophone
Oskar Perskaas started playing alto sax in the third grade. In middle school and high school he joined the schools jazz bands, expanding his talents into the tenor and baritone saxophones. During this time he enjoyed listening to a wide variety of musical genres from alternative rock to jazz and house music. Oskar took a break from playing the saxophone during his college years in order to focus on his academics, now he is glad to once again be playing with such a talented group of musicians. His re-dedication to the composition and live performance of music has invigorated his artistic drive. He continues to draw inspiration from great swing and funk artists, he loves sharing his passion with the audience.

Band Members