The ManDoki Soulmates — led by world-renowned musician, producer, songwriter and Hungarian refugee Leslie Mandoki — played its first-ever concert in the United States last night at New York City’s legendary Beacon Theatre. An inspirational star-studded performance benefiting MusiCares, the highly-anticipated Wings Of Freedom post-Grammy concert was full of surprises. Beyond a mix of ManDoki-penned originals, the band performed rock classics such as Manfred Mann’s “Blinded By The Light,” Cutting Crew’s “I Just Died in Your Arms,” and Toto’s “Rosanna,” all featuring lead vocals from people associated with those recordings. In addition to Leslie Mandoki, Toto’s Bobby Kimball, Supertramp’s John Helliwell, Manfred Mann’s Chris Thompson, and Cutting Crew’s Nick Van Eede, other greats present included Bill Evans, Randy Brecker, Till Brönner, Cory Henry, and Julia Mandoki.

In addition to serving as a percussionist, vocalist and bandleader, Leslie Mandoki was the evening’s emcee. Sharing stories about growing up behind The Iron Curtain, Mandoki not only comes across as talented and enthusiastic, but also gracious. He spotlighted each of the evening’s performers — many of them rock and jazz greats — during the two-hour performance, also pointing out how he has been playing alongside many of the Soulmates for over two decades. Time will tell as to when Mandoki and his band return for further U.S. appearances, but there is no doubt that the ManDoki Soulmates made a strong impression on those who attended this Monday evening outing at the Beacon Theatre.

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About the Author

is a New York resident (and Long Island native) with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer.Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. He has been a member of the SATW and the IFWTWA organizations as a food and travel writer.Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host the recently-launched "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.


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