Back in the early 90's, when everything that was positive was "butta baby," there was a spot in Upper-Manhattan that came to be known as the "Casa Mantequilla." It was a gathering place for friends from all over the world, many of whom were artists, teachers, craftsmen, and healers. The vibrant conversations and jam sessions adhered to the philosophy that "Mantequilla mescla todo" (butter blends everything). The Blues-Infused World Music you will hear recalls those memorable encounters at the original "Casa Mantequilla." The tradition continues as we warmly welcome you to the Mantequilla family!
Dr. Hawthorne "Hawk" Smith / A saxophonist, vocalist and percussionist who has played professionally in the US and Europe, and has played across the African continent from Gambia to Zambia, and many spots in between. Hawk is a Psychologist and the Clinical Director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture. www.survivorsoftorture.org
Brendan Malone, a.k.a. the "Spicy One," and "El Gringo Suffrido" / A bonafide blues man originallyhailing from New Haven, CT. Brendan is a guitarist, vocalist, boat builder and teacher, who runs innovative educational programs for kids in New York City.
Mark Righter / A drummer, percussionist and vocalist who hails from New Haven, CT. Whether behind a drum set, congas or timbales, Mark is the driving force behind several music projects in NYC Mark is also a master-craftsman and the principal at CAMBIUM STUDIO. www.cambiumstudio.com
Oscar Debe / A drummer and percussionist originally from Lagos, Nigeria. He is the "go-to guy" when many of the big bands from Africa come to NYC and need top-shelf accompaniment. Oscar is an aficionado of African art and artifacts, and runs a family store in Harlem.www.africanparadise.com
Mohamed Cherif Kouyate / A son of the griot tradition from West Africa; Kouyate is an internationally known guitarist and band leader from Guinea, who is also the front man for the Mandingo Kings.
Jamie Mohamdein / A popular bassist, originally from Alexandria, Egypt, who plays with many bands and for theatrical productions both on and off Broadway.
Thierry Royo / An accomplished bassist and guitarist originally from Belgium - Thierry is now a devoted denizen of Harlem, who has recently released his self-produced album entitled Minniesland. Visit Thierry's site here.
Brian Vinson / A popular jazz bassist on the local NYC scene, originally from Louisville, KY. Brian is the front man of the Brian Vinson Trio.