Mike Freeman Blog
Ray Mantilla


Ray Mantilla's Rebirth was released late June. Ray would have been happy to see that it's been in the top 10 of Jazzweeks radio chart for the past 4 weeks.

NYTimes Ray Mantilla

The New York Times recognizes Ray Mantilla.
The last link of the article is to a video I'm a part of.

WBGO article on Ray Mantilla

Ray Mantilla

Ray Mantilla
June 22, 1934 - March 21, 2020:

Another musical colleague and friend has passed. I worked in Ray’s bands over the past 18 years. We spent untold hours traveling and performing together and shared some great times. In between gigs was always an adventure. Over the years I heard countless stories of his musical collaborations that were truly remarkable. I wish I could remember half of them. He was one of those last remaining icons of a bygone era of music. He could be maddening at times but was also an endearing spirit. Many of us thought he was leaving this world a few years ago but in a testament to his domineering power and musical spirit he made a remarkable recovery to come back and perform right up to last month. Still full of energy following his 85th birthday last June, he performed as part of a concert I produced at the Times Center last July. Along with his regular Jazz Foundation gigs, he recorded a yet to be released CD for Savant Records last October.

His passing from cancer at this time of coronavirus concerns/rules/protocols sadly meant that friends were unable to visit him during his last days at the hospital. And that any memorial must be postponed to a later time.

Farewell Ray Mantilla you will be greatly missed.

*To Be Clear, Please Note: Ray passed from cancer not from coronavirus. He was battling cancer on and off for years. It was because of Coronavirus concerns/rules/protocol that friends could not visit him during his last days in the hospital.


Summer 2016 wrap-up

The summer has wound down with some memorable gigs starting in late spring with a Bronx rooftop concert at Casita Maria with Ray Mantilla followed by the annual stickball tournament with Julio Salgado. ZonaVibe, in promotion of "Blue Tjade", was in the East Village at the Third Street Music series in late June and Jose Mangual Jr.’s Son Boricua was in the Bronx at Olivias in July. Then there was Ray Mantilla’s Jazzmobile gig at Riverbank State Park and a Jazz Foundation gig at Union Square Park. In August ZonaVibe had a great time on a beautiful evening as part of Jazz Forum Arts music series at Dobbs Ferry where the audience called for an encore! And to top it off Ray Mantilla’s Good Vibrations band just finished a prestigious and well received gig at The Kitano Jazz. I’m now taking a short break to head to the midwest but next up is Son Boricua at BB Kings on Sept. 15th! –Mike Freeman

NJPAC Ray Mantilla

I had a great time with Ray Mantilla at NJPAC's Sounds of the City July 19th. The concert included music from Ray's Space Station, Good Vibrations band and a some new afro-peruvian music he is doing. Photos from the concert are now posted in the Jazzvibe gallery here –Mike Freeman