The Supergroup You've Never Heard Coming to the US

Jan 22, 2018

Leslie Mandoki

It’s very likely that you’ve never heard Leslie Mandoki, and he’s ok with that. 

“Everybody thinks in Europe that I’m crazy.  You reload and restart your life in America, but I love America so much.”

It’s likely you’ve heard Peter Frampton, Ian Anderson, Randy Brecker, Al Di Meola.  Those are only a few of the iconic musicians that have performed as a part of the interchangeable super group Man Doki Soulmates. 

“I’m a very, very lucky boy.  Because all of these legendary, iconic singers and players are the leaders themselves in their own act.  So, they know too well that egos can destroy a lot in a band.”

Percussionist-composer Leslie Mandoki, born in Soviet occupied Hungary, fled the country for Germany in 1975 to secure musical freedom.  It was sound advice from his dying father. 

“He said, ‘Wait a minute, the Iron Curtain is not for you my son.  Don’t dream your life, live your dreams.”

Mandoki’s love for American jazz and British rock turned into a career as a songwriter and studio musician.  The relationships he made along the way presented the opportunity to create Man Doki Soulmates, like friends asking friends to be in a band.

“This music we play, this ‘jazz-rock,’ it’s not jazz, it’s not rock, it’s a progressive rock,” said Mandoki.  “The rock guys like Steve Lukather say it’s rock music with a jazz sensibility.  The jazz [musicians] say it’s jazz with a pop sensibility.  Social, political, meaningful lyrics, very complex structures but kind of easy going melodies.”

Over twenty-five years on, Mandoki Soulmates makes its way to New York City, in celebration of Grammy Week. It's a benefit for the Recording Academy's MusiCares Foundation.

Over twenty-five years on, Mandoki Soulmates makes its way to New York City, in celebration of Grammy Week.  It’s a benefit for the Recording Academy’s MusiCares Foundation.

“January 29th at the Beacon Theater you will hear a concert like you’ve never heard before and you will never hear again if you don’t follow us.  There’s going to be a bunch of idealistic, iconic legends joining the fun and joy of meaningful music.”

Mandoki is partially joking when he says you’ll never hear Soulmates again.  He's weighing options on a nationwide tour as his first appearance in New York City awaits.