In Conversation – With Matt Zimbel of Manteca, Part II

For Geniuses Who Like to Dance

“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically and people will like it more.”
Chris Martin

Manteca is a nine-piece Toronto-based jazz ensemble whose music is notable for its buoyant enthusiasm, broad spectrum of influences, smarts, and incredible listening appeal.

Monday Night at the Mensa Disco was released in September. It was fan-funded via Indiegogo, fans helped Manteca exceed its financial goal. and fans helped Manteca exceed its financial goal. Recently composer, drummer, and founding member Matt Zimbel took the time to answer Wanda Waterman’s questions about the golden rule, genius clubs, and how they came up with that great album title. (See Part I of this article here.)

That Clever Album Title

?Monday Night at the Mensa Disco? was the result of a fascination with the famous international genius club that you have to ace a test to join. Their website’s description of upcoming events sparked a stream of mental associations: Mensa has many events for members including leadership workshops and dances . . .

Hey! Why not write music for geniuses who like to dance? Nobody else is doing it, so the market is open, right? So Manteca got inspired to write music that had both weird time signatures and boogie appeal. After all that, the album title was a no-brainer (though it was also influenced slightly by Sheryl Crow’s debut album title, ?Tuesday Night Music Club?).

Rehearsing Monday Night Mensa Music

?We work very hard,? says percussionist, Matt Zimbel, ?and we loop sections so we can play them over again without playing a lot of stuff around them, so we just practice the difficult and then we move on. It’s very collective, very polite, and very funny.?

Personal Beliefs

?There is one belief that I hold very close to my heart,? says Matt. ?It’s so simple and would frankly solve the world’s problems: Do unto others as you wish they do unto you. Granted That’s hard to do? It’s hard to forgive, I know, but if we could all move closer to that . . . well, ?nuff said.?

What’s next on the horizon for Manteca?

?Touring, touring, touring,? says Matt. ?Oh, yeah!?

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