Performance for CBC at Queens Park, Toronto

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This was from a local CBC music show made in Toronto in, I think 1985.  Think about that for a second, the local, not national division of CBC in Toronto built a set, brought in a multi-cam crew of 10 camera’s and  trucks, promoted a  free, live show and hired a jazz salsa band, and paid them, well. If you walked into a local CBC executive’s office today and proposed that …well, let’s just say they would call security. That night in Queens Park was amazing, it was hot, the band killed it and the audience killed it, the crew did a great job, it was just a lovely night in a park with 1000 of your best friends and ten cameras. I remember my wife, was very impressed, perhaps more impressed than she ever was with Manteca, not so much by the show which she knew well and liked but she was very impressed by the parking…you see there were three 45ft tractor trailers of gear and 2  mobile trucks, they took up a whole city block and  she said breathlessly, “are all those trucks for you?”


Colleen Allen

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Manteca: Colleen Allen

This is Colleen Allen she has been playing in Manteca for 7 years now. She plays, and be patient here, this is going to take a while; baritone sax, soprano sax, bass clarinet, alto flute, flute, piccolo, tenor sax, alto sax, accordion and um, that’s it. After saxophonist Kelly Jefferson left the band last year (lawsuits pending – just kidding…we love Kelly and he is also fond of us…) Colleen suggested we replace him with a guitar player! A guitar player! Which we did. And she thereby doubled her load by having to either cover or replace all of Kelly’s parts too! And in a move of exceptional Machiavellian brilliance she was then assured of having every sax solo in the Manteca book! There is now a space on stage known by our crew as “Sax World” or “Saxlandia”, depending which member of the crew you are speaking to. We have been thinking about getting Colleen a “Sax Caddy” as she has so many quick changes to make between instruments. “Ma’am, I’d recommend a Bass Clarinet for this whole note.”


Colleen’s performance on this record is exceptional. Each one of her solos tell a story, a story full of heart, emotion and chops. I remember during what became the keeper take of Illusionist, we were ten feet from each other with a little glass wall separating us for sonic reasons and as she played her solo, I closed my eyes and with every twist and turn she took me on a voyage and when it was done and I knew it was recorded, and I knew it was THE solo, I felt like we had bottled magic. You can see this all unfold on Jean Francois Gratton’s beautiful video at


Colleen is the resident artist at Soulpepper Theatre, which is one of the reasons we are doing our launch at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts there on Nov. 10. at 8PM. You got your tickets right? No, oh man you better go get ‘em it’s gonna sell out it’s an intimate place.

Strength in Numbers – 1984

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Strength in Numbers was our 2nd album and because our first album was critiqued for being too studio “clean” and not having the energy of our live show we decided to record about 3/4 of the album “Direct to Digital Stereo”, which in 1984 meant to Beta tape!  This means we did not overdubs, no post-production mix, no repairs, as the tunes were played, so they remained. My fondest memory is recording Aaron Davis tune Rewenzori, which was 14 minutes long. Ralph Bowen played a remarkable solo on Soprano. He was 23 years old. We did three takes right in a row. I was playing 3 sets of clay drums crouched on the floor and when I got up I thought to myself, “wow, that felt good… I guess we have 14 minutes of the record done, merci, bonsoir!”


Jeff Wolpert recorded this record in 1984 as he did our last record The Twelfth of Never in 2016, making Jeff and I the only two Mantecians to last this long! Matt Zimbel. We have five of these on vinyl still factory wrapped!

Loathe Us On Facebook And Buy The Record

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Nancy White - UnexpectedThe remarkable singer-songwriter Nancy White used to tell the story of a fan who approached her after a gig; “oh, my, God, like, it is sooooo great to meet you! I cannot tell you how much I like your music! I borrowed all your records from my friend and made tapes of them!

The modern version of that happened to me the other day… I was introduced to someone as the leader of Manteca and she gushed…”oh my God I love your band, I listen to you guys all the time on Spotify…” I must have inadvertently snarled, as she nervously uptalked, “and I liked you on Facebook?”

Well, I don’t mean to be old school here folks but that ain’t gonna do it. You gotta to buy the record…it’s only $10.32 for digital.




Loathe us on Facebook, but please, buy the record, it matters.

New Record The Twelfth of Never Drops Today!

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Today our 12th record drops. The record stores have brought on extra security and the label is paying for a small brigade of PDO (Paid Duty Officers) to insure safety at the HMV downtown. Apparently there are people already camped out on Yonge Street, waiting for the store to close, I would presume. Jimmy Fallon’s show decided to tape in Toronto, so that we could appear on launch day and the Pope has sent a citation but it was in Roman, so I have no idea what he was talking about, something about his wife liking the record, I think.
I know you don’t trust me on these matters but I would like to tell you in the most unreserved way possible that this is an excellent record, I can say that because I am only one of nine contributors. I will not only say it is a good record, I will say that if you are not happy with it – after you bought, you’re going to buy it right?, you can send it back to us and we will pay you back and send you a copy of one of our other records for your trouble…Look, if the Pope’s wife likes it…you’re gonna love it.

The Twelfth of Never at surviving record stores everywhere and iTunes tomorrow.
God bless.

Hu Xi met at the Party

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In honour of the fact that we are  in China screening the film Zimbelism  here is a satirical piece i wrote in 2013 when Xi Jinping became China’s new president.

Hu Xi met at the Party

This past Thursday in Bejing at the 18th national  congress of the People’s Republic of China, the party selected a new leader. The out going president Hu Jintao  pronounced (who-gin-toa), delivered a one and half hour speech in the Great Hall of the People in which Hu (pronounced “who”) focused on the importance of  eradicating corruption.  Party delegates clapped enthusiastically, as did the president who (pronounced Hu) can be seen in news footage auto clapping to the rousing lines of his own speech.

The new president, who will take office in March, is the current vice president Xi Jinping pronounced (she-gin-ping).

We take you now to a conversation  between two mid level bureaucrats at the cafeteria in the State Department (pronounced Foggy Bottom)  in Washington, DC.

So, who’s the new president of China?

No, Hu’s the old president of China.

Oh, who’s the new president of China?

No, I just told you, Hu’s the old president of China.

Yes I know who the old president of China is.  What I want to know is who is the new president.

You’re not listening.  Hu is the old president of China,  Xi is the new president of  China.

I can’t believe it, the Chinese appointed a woman as paramount leader of the republic?

Who are you talking about, Xi?

Yeah the woman leader.

Who is the woman leader?

I’m not talking about Hu, I’m talking about Xi…the woman leader.

Xi is not a woman.

Well then what is Xi.

Xi is the vice president.

Well that doesn’t mean Xi is not a she.

Who are you talking about?

I’m talking about the person who will become president.

I thought you just said Hu was no longer president.

Yes, that’s what I said.

No you didn’t.  You just said Hu will become president.

Ok to be clear …Xi is the new president, who will take over in March.

Oh I see, kind of like a Putin  / Medvedev accelerated commie switcheroo.

Xi is the new president Hu will take over again in March. Got it.

No, you don’t. Xi is the new president elect who will take over in March.

Check please


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Hey there, welcome to our new site. Here’s the backstory, cuz i know you’re fascinated by the minutia of the Interknob. Our last site was designed and built in 2006 when the Interweb was coal fired. So yes, it was about time for a little revision to all things web including our Facechat, Instabook and Tweeter accounts. We were told to see a company called Alkaline Design Group, which sounded like a really big international internet consortium, but it turned out to be a boutique web sweat shop run by Colleen Dauncey. Colleen Dauncey…hmmmm, Colleen Dauncey hmmm, that name sounds familiar… sounds like the songwriter/composer of musicals who we knew was in production on the musical Prom Queen. Turns out it’s the same Colleen. Well it’s always nice to work with other musicians…thanks for this Colleen, see you on Broadway!

So now we have a new blog space and what does one do in a blog space except brag while using a modest casual hipster tone…ok, that!

Start the brag in 4, 3, standby, brag go! 

We have a new album in the can!  It’s called “The Twelfth of Never” it’s our 12th (8 new original compositions) and will be released on September 23, 2016 on Pheramone Distributing. There are two tunes on the site here for you to hear, with the hopes that you say “Hear! Hear!”.  We will not editorialize on how excited we are blah blah blah…you need to do only one thing…turn it up! 

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