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, Europe, and across the African continent from Gambia to Zambia, and many spots in between. Hawk is an internationally respected 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 hailing from New Haven, CT. Brendan is a guitarist, vocalist, boat builder and award winning teacher. He helps to run innovative educational programs for kids in New York City, including the Harbor School on Governor’s Island.
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, creating one of a kind furnishing and functional art pieces. www.cambiumstudio.com
Oscar Debe / A drummer and percussionist originally from Lagos, Nigeria. He is the "go-to guy" when internationally known bands from Africa and the Caribbean come to NYC and need top-shelf accompaniment. Oscar is an aficionado of African art and artifacts, and runs a truly unique, community-based store in Harlem that is dedicated to roots and culture. www.africanparadise.com
Mohamed Cherif Kouyate / A son of the griot tradition from West Africa; Kouyate is an internationally known guitarist, band leader and human rights advocate from Guinea. He was the front man for the Mandingo Kings and was a driving force behind the legendary “Africa Nights” at St. Nick’s Pub in Harlem.
Thierry Royo / An accomplished bassist and guitarist originally from Belgium. Thierry has been involved with many musical projects across Europe, and is now a devoted denizen of Harlem. He provides high-level interpretation services to international organizations and businesses, and has recently released his self-produced album entitled Minniesland. Visit Thierry's site here.