Percussionist - producer

Project Info


Manteca is a Juno Award winning, Toronto based, pan cultural, artists collective, founded by bassist Henry Heillig and myself  in 1979.  We are nine.  The group is currently in preproduction for their fourteenth recording, to be released in 2022.  The band has  toured the world, performing at prestigious jazz and cultural festivals from Los Angeles to Stockholm. Manteca’s archives have been collected by the National Library of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History.


Juno Award


This band has been part of my life for 42 years. If you could stand on stage at my position, enveloped in that semi-circle of musical power, grace, impact and joy, you’d know in a heartbeat why I haven’t missed a downbeat in 42 years, 13 recordings and tours all over the world. I am so proud of the players, past and present, who have made the Manteca journey a trip out of this world. Over the years I have written so often about Manteca that words have begun to fail me. So, I’m going to give two critics the last word. In 1989 the Globe and Mail Jazz Critic Mark Miller called Manteca; “a friendly, sensuously-attractive place to visit – a musical utopia…it is evocative, even ethereal and yet it can also have great physical presence, it is wildly spirited and yet remarkably controlled. Everything is in balance, utopian indeed.”

Fast forward to 2020 and these words from critic Chris Spector: “So, here’s some funky futurists that have been at it 41 years, copped a Juno and still manage to heat up the frozen North with their view of world jazz that seems limitless. Collecting moves from the past and the future and fusing them into their own version of fusion, this is easily a nu take on jazz as party music–the way the cats in long ago Nawlins originally envisioned it. Space station party music done right.”

Houston, we have no problem.


Art Avalos

Album Cover

Manteca – Lowdown

Manteca – Miss Météo

Colleen Allen

Queens Park

Mark Ferguson

La Tulipe, Montreal - October 2007

Manteca – Busking in Deadwood

Thanks For Watching