Keyboardist, pianist and composer Manu Koch belongs to a New York-based, transnational
tribe of artists who are reshaping the contours of contemporary groove-based music in the
21st century. His debut album, Triple Life, released in March 2011, is an eclectic genre
border-crossing experience that distills his multiple-dimensional musical life as a performer
into one funky, jazz-inflected amalgam of global electronic music. The arrival of this musical
project also marks the beginning of his role as a bandleader and his live band collective
Manu began honing his craft in Baar, Switzerland, where he spent his early years enmeshed
in the European classical tradition. By age 16, with a solid technical background, he
gravitated towards jazz and other contemporary music. Only a few years later he decided to
take the leap to the US where he quickly became an in-demand keyboardist/pianist in the
multicultural Boston area. He performed and recorded with a broad range of bands and
musicians in a number of different styles, among them the Malian kora player/vocalist Balla
Tounkara, the Wally’s Café house funk band (which included rhythm heavyweights Adam
Deitch, Sam Kininger, Jeffrey Lockhart, Eric Krasno, and Charles Haynes), the Caribbean
jazz band Ron Reid & Sun Steel, and the Cape Verdean Mendes Brothers. Key to this period
was his sustained engagement with the Brazilian jazz scene, in particular, the group
Zabumbatuq, which boasted vocalist Teresa Inês, clarinetist/saxophonist Anat Cohen and
bassist Leonardo Cioglia, all of whom helped to expand his transnational musical
Since his relocation to New York in 2000, he has continued and expanded on his early work
with groove-based jazz and popular music artists. He recorded and shared the stage with
prominent jazz contemporaries Lionel Loueke and Avishai E. Cohen, and performed with a
wide range of the New York-based Brazilian pantheon, drummers Portinho, Vanderlei
Pereira, Adriano Santos and the members of Nublu favorites Forro In The Dark to name a
few. In recent years his more notable engagements included Brazilian house band Brazooka
at Café Wha and Davi Vieira & Hip Hop Axé, fixtures of the New York Brazilian dance music
A musical chameleon, Manu has toured with afro-pop star Angélique Kidjo and since 2005
also performed with Fantcha, the Cape Verdean protégé of Cesária Évora, and Miles Davis/
Santana bassist Benny Rietveld occasionally featuring Cindy Blackman-Santana on drums.
He is the regular keyboardist for Nigerian talking drum master Kofo The Wonderman, a
staple of the Zinc Bar scene, and frequently collaborates with urban folk and jazz vocalist/
guitarist KJ Denhert, Moroccan jazz vocalist Malika Zarra and Israeli flutist Mattan Klein.
Since 2011 he has toured internationally with the New York Gypsy All-Stars and has become
a vital element in singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer's Tomas Donckér's 'Global Soul'
movement with his participation in the critically acclaimed 'Power Of The Trinity' project.
With his project Filtron M Manu Koch is entering a new phase of presenting his compositions
in a live setting. Having performed from India to Brazil, Europe to North America, Manu has
emerged as a veritable ambassador of groove, blending his diverse influences into his own
ever-expanding global sound.