Pianist Manny Moka returns to Biscuits and Blues with his 9-piece all-star ensemble for an evening of smokin’ arrangements played by the Bay Area’s finest, including Bill Ortiz and Steffen Kuehn – trumpets, Derek James – trombone, Charlie Keagle – sax & flute, Curt Moore – drums, Edgardo Cambon – congas, Omar Ledezma – timbales, and Scott Thompson – bass. The show will feature guest vocalists Nicolas Bearde and Sharmila G. Lash and pianist Socorro de Castro.
Brooklyn born Manny Moka got his initial musical inspirations from older cousins who were already adept at the piano. He showed an aptitude for being able to pick out melodies he heard and play them on his toy piano at the age of 3. He started informal classical studies a few years later, but was always influenced by the popular and jazz music that permeated the fabric of multi-cultural New York City. By the time he entered college, he was committed to being a professional musician, eventually relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area. After many years as an independent recording producer, arranger, and side-man, Manny finally put together a project of his own focusing on latin and funk grooves and featuring the finest bay-area players, many of whom are bandleaders in their own right.