“Long A Favorite Among Musical Connoisseurs, Mandrill’s Music Has Shaped Rock And Roll History.”
The Washington Afro-American,
“Mandrill: Musical Maestros” by Kenneth Mallory
Clearly one of the most important pioneers of World Music and one of Funk and R&B’s most progressive bands, MANDRILL is one of the most sampled groups of today. They have been introduced to a whole new generation of younger fans who are appreciating, in live concerts and through Internet access, the power and artistry of this band.
You can hear their signature sound on Kanye West’s “Two Words” with Mos Def from Kanye’s Grammy Award-winning College Dropout album as well as on Brandy’s single “Talk About Our Love” featuring and produced by Kanye West from her Grammy-nominated Afrodisiac album. Other samples include Shawty Lo’s’ “Dey Know”, KRS One’s “For Example,” Black Eyed Peas “Weekends,” Floetry’s “Have Faith,” Wyclef Jean’s “You Say Keep It Gangsta,” Tweet and Missy Elliot’s “We Don’t Need No Water,” Kindred’s “If I,” and Nas’ “U Gotta Love It.”
Their most recent project Mandrill Live At Montreux (DVD/CD) includes interviews, behind the scenes footage and a photo gallery, in addition to the 90-minute concert recorded in Switzerland at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Stravinsky Hall. Viewers are treated to bonus musical surprises on what is sure to become a collector’s item. The concert CD is one of MANDRILL’s finest albums. Both the CD and DVD are available on the official website at www.mandrillis.com and in stores worldwide. The DVD is currently featured on BET J’s “Club J Concerts” (a division of the Black Entertainment Television Network).
Still touring the U.S. and abroad, the Wilson Brothers remain the driving force behind MANDRILL. The current band is fueled by a new generation of multi-talented musicians including Marc Rey, Keith Barry, Michael Beholden, Gemi Taylor, Stacey Lamont Sydnor and Eli Brueggemann.
The Group recently completed a series of successful concerts at the TANJazz Festival
Tangier, Morocco (June 12-16) and at the famous Carter Barron Amphitheatre. (click on links below to view feature article in Au Fait (Moroccan daily newspaper), Moroccan TV(Medi 1 Sat) interview with the Wilson Bros. and the Washington Post concert review).
TANJazz TV feature and interview: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/stbslam/video/x9n8yf_festival-tanjazz-2009-emission-n4_music
Au Fait Maroc - Moroccan daily newspaper: http://www.aufaitmaroc.com/fr/loisirs/culture/article/ils-etaient-a-tanger-il-y-a-35-ans-lenergie-mandrill-retour-pour-les-10-ans-de-tanjazz/
Washington Post concert review: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postrock/2009/06/mandrill_live_last_night.html
On their soon-to-be released, “seventeenth” album, MANDRILL continues to promote positive messages of peace, harmony and social justice. This CD will reflect the full spectrum of MANDRILL, featuring the Wilson Brothers, innovators and composers of such classic hits as “Fencewalk,” “Mango Meat," “Ape Is High,” “Git It All,” “House of Wood,” and “Rollin’ On”. It will definitely contain the booty shakin’ fun and funk to which fans have grown accustomed. Additional collaborators include the great Gerald Albright and Chuck D of Public Enemy among others.
The second generation of Wilson Bros Records artists known as The Drill Collective (TDC), features The One Sun Lion Ra (son of Lou) and Jadiem (son of Carlos), and other phenomenal musicians and performers whose presentations span the spectrum from spoken word/rap to pop/rock. The debut CD by The One Sun Lion Ra is titled “Fire In The Sky” and includes the crowd-pleasers “Keeping’ It Live” and “Black Woman” which was featured in the score of the Lions Gate movie, Civil Brand. The One Sun Lion Ra regularly tours with Mandrill and consistently rocks the house. He recently shared the stage with griots, The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron at the Carter Barron in Washington, DC. Jadiem provides the rap intro for one of MANDRILL’s new songs, “Who Got Da Funk” and is currently putting the finishing touches on what promises to be a great album with strong West Coast influences. Angelica Star rounds out the presentation with her guitar and perfect pitch vocals. Look for the release of her CD in 2009.
MANDRILL’s reputation as a “World Music Group” and “Champions for Peace” began with their self-titled debut album, which contained the epic composition titled “Peace and Love.” This amazing suite was performed to a Standing Room Only audience at Philharmonic Hall in New York City more than three decades ago. At that time, the Group was accompanied by Symphony of the New World, an 80-piece orchestra, and a 200-voice chorus. Renowned musical conductor Coleridge Taylor Perkinson directed the performance.
In June 2008, MANDRILL performed at the Annual West Oak Lane Jazz Festival in Philadelphia, PA where they were warmly received by over 20,000 fans during the course of the three-day event. Thousands of music lovers from as far away as Tokyo, Japan, Austin, Texas and Des Moines, Iowa were drawn by the Festival’s growing reputation as the hottest summer ticket on the east coast. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqWmv2Co1X8)
September 2008 found the Group in Hollywood Beach, FL at the Seventh Annual Clambake.
“Your spirits and pure, beautiful and boundless energies touched all of us so profoundly. Our Sunday was awash with comments and reflections of the magical Mandrill Family's visitation and transformation of our beach and festival into a joyous celebration much greater than we had ever hoped to create. You all truly embody and are surely High Ambassadors of the universal language of music, soul, love, peace (and funk!) and I personally, along with many others, am certain, will never be the same. Thank you doesn't even come close to what we'd like to send to you. Love, blessings and well wishes from our beach to your hearts with hopes for your continued success and many more musical and spiritual adventures ahead. May Mandrill's road some day soon lead back to South Florida”. Holly Spillane, Producer.
Hailing from the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York by way of Panama, MANDRILL has been heralded as "one of the world's greatest musical treasures." Formed by the Wilson Brothers Lou, Ric "Doc" and Carlos they were later joined by brother Wilfredo and the sons of Lou and Carlos, The One Sun Lion Ra and Jadiem, respectively. A family of multi-instrumentalists, whose background is a melting pot of Caribbean culture blended with the sound and heart of urban America, MANDRILL were pioneers of the unique musical combination of Funk, Rock, Latin, R&B and the Jazz fusion movement of the time. Their first three albums
were recorded at Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios in New York's Greenwich Village. During the recording of their first album in 1970 they often shared the facility with Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix and other notable artists. Plans to perform with Jimi Hendrix were thwarted by his untimely death.
On two occasions MANDRILL appeared before sold out audiences at Carnegie Hall and their versatility is demonstrated by the fact that they have shared the stage with artists of all genres. MANDRILL performed with James Brown at Madison Square Garden and the Apollo in New York City, with Duke Ellington at Philharmonic Hall, and with Miles Davis at Bill Graham's Fillmore West. Other artists with whom the stage has been shared include Herbie Hancock, Davie Bowie, Patti LaBelle, Earth Wind & Fire, Tito Puente and The Fania All Stars, Frank Zappa, The Eagles, Deep Purple, Mott The Hoople, Jim Croce, and War, just to name a few.
Their recent Washington, D.C. engagement celebrates musical history when the group headlined the bill that packed RFK Stadium beyond capacity as 80,000 people came to see MANDRILL with special guests Parliament Funkadelic, Rare Earth and the Jimmy Castor Bunch in 1973,
breaking the previously long-held attendance record set by the Rolling Stones.
MANDRILL performed on Don Kirshner's In Concert, and Rock Concert television series. On numerous occasions they appeared on Soul Train with Don Cornelius and Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack. They were also featured on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television
program Soul! created and hosted by Ellis Haizlip.
Always socially conscious, MANDRILL was a participant with Aretha Franklin and other musicians in the creation of a platinum album for the United Nations that raised funds for children and international refugees. The Group is actively involved in a campaign that focuses on the preservation of our rain forests and the plight of its namesake, the mandrill (West African baboon) that is critically endangered due to habitat encroachment and poaching.
Over the years MANDRILL has contributed to multiple film projects. Recently they created an eclectic film score for the feature film Civil Brand, a Lions Gate Entertainment Production. The Civil Brand score stands along with MANDRILL's movie soundtracks for "The Greatest" (Columbia Pictures biopic of Muhammad Ali) featuring their song, "Ali Bombaye", Paramount Pictures cult classic The Warriors as well as their 2008 contribution to Afro Ninja, starring Mark Hicks, Marla Gibbs and Jim Kelly.
MANDRILL is mentioned in the new documentary "ELECTRIC PURGATORY - The Fate Of The Black Rocker," as well as "Rolling Stone's Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll" and you can read about the life and times of MANDRILL in the book by Jim McCarthy and Ron Sansoe titled "Voices of Latin Rock: the People and Events That Created This Sound" (foreword by Carlos Santana) published by the Hal Leonard Corporation.
Acknowledgement must be given to former members Claude "Coffee" Cave, Omar Mesa, Charlie Padro, Bundie Cenac, Fudgie "Kae" Solomon, Neftali Santiago, Dougie Rodriguez, Joaquin Jessup, Andre Locke, Tommy Trujillo, Eddie Summers, and Brian Allsop, for their outstanding
MANDRILL gives special thanks to their loyal fans for their love and continued support.
Additional MANDRILL products include CDs, DVDs, Posters, Tee shirts, caps and other gear.
For more information or to place an order, please go to the Official MANDRILL Website (http://www.mandrillis.com).
Ric Wilson, MD
Wilson Bros. Records
8306 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 261
Beverly Hills, CA 90211