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Manteca to headline Markham Jazz Festival Opening Night concert

By Wayne Doyle

Back in the late-1980s, at a hip Toronto club called The Bamboo, I took in a late-night, mid-week show by a band called Manteca.

It was brilliant. The night was hot and humid outside and inside the club, the band was hitting its stride – generating a groove that took you this way and that.

The sound borrowed a bit from everything- jazz, caribbean, r&b, soul, rock – to create this incredibly engaging hybrid of music that instantly connected with all who heard it.

Manteca quickly became one of my favourite bands and a live capture was always a memorable experience.

Formed by percussionist Matt Zimbel and bassist Henry Heillig in 1979, Manteca toured regularly through the 80s and 90s, headlining jazz festivals around the world. In 1989, Manteca won the Juno Award for Instrumental Artist of the Year.

Flash forward 30-some odd years and Manteca is still at it – the ensemble is performing next Wednesday – August 17 – at the Markham Museum as part of the TD Markham Jazz Festival.

Tickets are $45 each (plus fees) and are available here.

If you’re not familiar with the decidedly groovy vibe created by Manteca, check out the video below.

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