Mandoki Soulmates Make Live U.S. Debut With New York Benefit Concert

Courtesy of ManDoki Soulmates
ManDoki Soulmates

The high-flying band Mandoki Soulmates are taking the trip across the pond to play their first live-U.S. show during this years Grammy Week.

The group, led by Dschinghis Khan great Leslie Mandoki, will play their Wings of Freedom post-Grammy concert at the Beacon Theater in New York City on Jan. 29. The show will be a benefit concert, with proceeds going towards the MusiCares foundation.

Having just played private, invitation-only events in America, the powerhouse group have expressed their excitement in playing Beacon Theater for their first live show, “It’s a great honor and a great privilege and essentially a dream come true so we are happy to play there,” Mandoki tells Billboard

The German-Hungarian rocker credits the American rock music he was exposed to growing up under the Iron Curtain as the reason why he picked up the passion for rock. "I was a young teenager, and I was listening behind the Iron Curtain to the voice of America, and that’s how I became a rock musician," he explains.

And with the United States political and social sphere currently filled with unrest and division, Mandoki thinks it is time for him to give back to the country. "America is incredibly broadened, it’s a great country, it gives the spirit of freedom to the whole world -- Europeans are especially thankful to American spirit," Mandoki said. 

Mandoki has a deep history with political unrest, having fled from Hungary during the Cold War from the communist government, because of his involvement in the student opposition. Of the American political climate in 2018, he says, "We are living in crazy times, with echo chambers and news bubbles and fake news and all that… I can only promise to be honest, to play music with integrity and that’s what we are trying to give to our audience.” The band will look to bring with them the fiery spirit of cold war Budapest and the tumbling of the Berlin Wall, with brash honesty, and virtuosity. 

Musically, the shows are sure to wow the crowd. The band is made up of Grammy-winning jazz and rock artists who bring a plethora of complex musical sounds and arrangements to the table. Mandoki says that folks can expect "great improvisations, great solos, great arrangements, and complex stuff" from the band's shows.

Mandoki Soulmates' collaboration with MusiCares — which seeks to aid musicians in need — arose from the similarities in their missions. Mandoki shared his sentiments about taking his platform and place of privilege, and shining the light on those who need help. "The goals of MusiCares and our goals are pretty identical in many lights, to be there for people who need us, so always helping the weak," he relates. "The only strength we have as musicians, we gain from our audience, so we are dedicated to give something back.”  

Tickets for Mandoki Soulmates' Wings of Freedom concert are available for purchase here.


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