by Jane Rosenstein
Mandouki Soulmates Wings of Freedom performed a concert at L’Olympia in Paris on March 1, 2017. Leslie Mondouki the organizer and leader of the group was born in Budapest and fled from Hungary to Germany in 1975 with Gabor Guspo and Lazlo Bencher to seek freedom. He told us that they successfully arrived and settled in Berlin. Lazlo Bencher joined Leslie in his bands. Gabor Guspo went to Hollywood and founded his studio there.
There were projections on a screen at the back of the stage of people fleeing for freedom.
Leslie spoke to the audience and told them about his story. It was interesting to hear him speak in English.
The group Mandouki Soulmates organized by Leslie Mandouki in 1993 is composed of well known musicians from rock and jazz. These talented people combine their musical diversities and create very special concerts. Each time the group performs the concert is different from the others. It was amazing as one lady told me afterwards to have seen younger musicians playing along those that are much older. Kleus Doldinger is 80 and Cory Henry is 29! She also said it was wonderful to see those with different styles playing together.
Leslie Mandouki tells about the history of the group, the players, sings and leads the group
This concert featured these musicians:
- Leslie Mandouki
- Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band)
- Nick van Eede (Cutting Crew)
- David Clayton Thomas ( Blood, Sweat & Tears)
- Tony Carey ( Rainbow)
- Bill Evans ( Mike Davis Band)
- Kleus Doldinger( Dollinger’s Passport)
- Bobby Kimball ( Toto) with 6 Grammy awards who sang Rosanna and Hold the Line
- John Helliwell ( Supertramp)
- Tony Carey
- Ian Anderson
- Til Bonner trumpet pmauer
- Cory Henry piano player youngest member at age 29 with 2 Grammy awards
- Szakcsi Lakatos a well known piano player since the 50’s from Hungary
- Rabdt Brecker a trumpet player who played with Stevie Wonder and Bruce Sprenstee
A special guest was Leslie’s daughter who sang with him and with members of the band.
The crowd loved the music and sang along with the singers and musicians. The audience loved the songs and sang along with some of them.
The songs included:
On & On, Diggin’ Down Too Deep, Look Up To The Sky etc., Manfred Mann : Davy’s On The Road Again, Mighty Quinn, Deep Purple : Smoke On The Water, Toto : Rosanna, Hold The Line, Cutting Crew ,Blood Sweat & Tears : Spinning Wheel + a song of Supertramp…
The crowd sang with Rosanna, Look up to the Sky, Mighty Quinn, Hold the Line and Smoke on the Water.
For a predominately French audience it was surprising that they could sing the words
Leslie Mandouki thanked the audience. He introduced us to each member of the group. A special welcome was for his daughter who sang.
The audience really enjoyed the concert and we could see that Mandouki Soulmates enjoyed performing for them. It was just fantastic
Their CD’s are sold only in Germany but some of the music can be found on the internet.
This fantastic group has performed in London and Berlin. We hope they will include Paris on their next tour.