Biography :
Chico Mann is a project born out of the heart and mind of Marcos Garcia. The music exists and thrives in a world where Jersey City is a short train ride away from Havana and where Casios and vintage drum machines collide with Afro-Cuban coros, freestyle keyboards, and Afrobeat sensibilities.

Garcia started the project as a lo-fi incursion into making beats and playing around with budding keyboard skills while touring with Antibalas, but it quickly grew into "Manifest Tone Vol.1" a full album of electro afrobeat machine funk that has received recognition in all the right places as a unique indy masterpiece that has marked the beginning of a very promising future.

Because Garcia played all the instruments, did all the programming and recorded all the vocals himself, the next challenge was to find a formula for bringing the unique Chico Mann experience to life. Because of the delicate blend of electronic beats and keys with organic call and response vocals, he was determined not to have a traditional band lineup performing in the traditional format of song/applause/song/applause.

With the goal of assembling a solid crew to help him bring the Chico Mann sound to life, Garcia turned to two of his earliest supporters. Victor Axelrod was the first on board and promptly traded in his usual organ, piano, and clavinet for an old Casio and a Roland Juno. Axelrod is a well respected musician whose credits run as deep as the music scenes that he has been instrumental in nurturing throughout the last decade. He is better known as Ticklah, a reggae producer and remixer who has three full-length albums out and co-produced Dub Side of the Moon on Easy Star records. He is also the keyboardist for Antibalas, one of the original members of Sharon Jones' backing group The Dap-Kings, and one of Mark Ronson's go to session musicians which has recently had him playing on tracks with Amy Winehouse, Lilly Allen, Mary J. Blige, Nas, and Jay-Z among others.

Next up was David Azzoni aka Telekinetic Kat aka Catman from Brooklyn based online DJ shop The two had met after Azzoni had a life changing experience upon hearing the first Chico Mann single and responded by writing a glowing review for the website. Together, he and Garcia began developing a formula for how to uniquely present the music as more of an interactive DJ set than a typical live performance. The result has been a successful fusion of spontaneity and tightly orchestrated changes and transitions that allow the live show to flow nonstop while still maintaining the freedom for dynamic live arrangement and improvisation.

Next up was the need to solidify the vocal section of the group. Mayteana Morales came into the group with much buzz surrounding her rapidly rising prominence in the Brooklyn music scene. Her strong vocals and undeniable presence have gained her respect and admiration through her touring and involvement not only with Chico Mann, but also Akoya Afrobeat and the Pimps of Joytime.

To round out the live ensemble, New York legend Vinia Mojica came aboard as a perfect fit and added the final voice to Garcia's rich harmonies. Although Mojica is most known for her prolific and distinct contributions to "golden era" hip hop classics from A Tribe Caled Quest, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, Mos Def and Talib Kweli, she is also known within New York to always be at the forefront of what's happening creatively in music. At the same time that she was adding her powerful vocal touch to early 90's hits, she was cutting her teeth performing in the art scene with Arto Lindsay and members of the Black Rock Coalition. This ability to adapt to different types of music, transcend genres and scenes, and to always have an ear out for what fresh new sounds are being born naturally brought Mojica to Chico Mann.

Now with the crew complete, what had started as Marcos Garcia's personal Casio Afrobeat experiment has blossomed into a genre-defying, life-affirming, sweaty, politicized dance party that is evolving at an exponential rate. If you haven't experienced Chico Mann yet, you will soon.

Discography :
2007 - Manifest Tone Vol. 1 - Kindred Spirits