The name Jack Mantis triggers somewhat mysteriously in the memory of most that encounter it. Yet the story behind the name – behind the man – remains largely untold. The last five years has seen the enigmatic front man of the Jack Mantis Band travel the world living out his various passions as musician, graffiti artist, adventurer and ultimately soul searcher.
JMB (originally formed as a trio with Jimmy Curve and Ronan Skillen) quickly established itself as a household name within the Cape Town music scene in the 2000’s. They were the darlings of Café Dharma (Kloof Street) and later Zula Bar and featured at some of the country’s major festival line-ups. This the band accomplished without releasing an album in South Africa, which remains testament to the power that JMB’s live performance had even at the very start of their career. Live performance is the quintessence of music for Mantis, which is expressed in the various incarnations of the band’s stage show over the years – not to mention the collaborations.
With a history steeped in music and a lifetime spent gaining insight and wisdom the world over, Mantis brings something truly generous to his performances – a sense of common humanity and togetherness. The brotherhood between band members and the sincere heart expressed through their music is tangible. It is undeniable that their vision is to create a conscious shift through their music and to hold a space within which meaningful shared experiences can take place. For those lucky enough to share in it, JMB leads those who share in their music on an unforgettable journey . While the band is still based in Europe, his wanderlust has inevitably led Mantis back home to South Africa where he intends to pick up where he once left off many moons ago.
He has just joined forces with lead guitarist Andre Geldenhuys (formerly Machineri, core member of Fantasma with Spoek Mathambo). Born & raised in Kommetjie, Cape Town, Andre has worked with a host of top calibre artists including session work for the likes of Jeremy Loops, Petite Noir, Gazelle, Alice Phoebe Lou, Champions of the Sonarverse (DJ InviZAble) and Patrick McCay (2 Minute Puzzle). Andre is also no stranger to operating abroad. He has been based in France and Italy and has toured Europe with Spoek Mathambo, including a landmark performance at SONAR – a festival known for its pioneering cultural innovation. Andre shares the love for consciously evolving musical boundaries. He draws his inspiration from a wide and eclectic range of musical influences including John Fruiscante (RHCP), Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley and Ali Farka Toure as well as various genres such as Dancehall, Hip-Hop and Classical. “It is important to expose yourself to as many different influences as possible – this allows me to constantly express myself through my music in a fresh way.”
Ahead of a three month tour planned for JMB to South Africa this summer, Jack Mantis and Andre Geldenhuys are taking to the road in May before reuniting with the rest of the band. In Europe, they then embark on a 40-date run with key shows in Zurich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Bremen, Dortmund and Berlin.
Have a listen to a little instrumental track they filmed recently….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo5G-Fq-VVE