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Manu Koch

Pianist New York, United States 109 Followers
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World Music 06:47 5 years ago5y
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Chill Out 06:54 5 years ago5y
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World Music 03:36 7 years ago7y
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Africa 06:17 7 years ago7y
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Film Soundtracks 04:43 7 years ago7y
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About Manu Koch

World Music Funk Jazz

Filtron M is a free-form project by pianist, keyboardist and composer Manu Koch.

Exposed to numerous cultures and genres by touring, performing and recording with many leading figures in contemporary music for the past 25 years, Manu’s compositions and perspective define the direction of Filtron M. The sound evolves with the ingredients from a multi-national network of collaborators.

The core idea of Filtron M goes back to Manu’s Boston years during the late 90’s when he led his first band that was influenced by the jazz-fusion group Weather Report and various Brazilian artists. After his transition to New York and years of sideman work that took Manu around the globe and refined his understanding of various music styles, his official debut album Triple Life was released in 2011.

With the aspiration to create and perform authentic original music with a multi-cultural outlook the goal now was to translate the global sound with various participants into a live setting. While appearing in New York frequently as Filtron M since late 2012 Manu had the initial members divided into units as introduced on the EP Mandatory Underground (2014). The album Astoria Roots Live (2017) featured the unit of the same name live at the Iridium in New York and at Moods in Zürich with featured guest appearances.

Since August 2018 Manu has been working on new music for the upcoming Filtron M album Transit Net. Originally the idea came from breaking away from compartmentalizing units and opening up to additional musicians participating. The video series #TNinprogress briefly showcases the collaborators on each track. The album’s music and the creative process has gained even more significance during the current Covid-19 crisis and added a whole other meaning to the title. Not only does it reflect major shifts worldwide but it also implies global concerns and the need to merge our collective visions, abilities, experience and knowledge to find common grounds.

Born in Baar, Switzerland, Manu Koch studied classical piano from age 6 and tenor saxophone at age 18 while also taking courses at the Jazz School Lucerne. In 1993 he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where he graduated four years later. During his Boston years he became an in-demand freelancer performing with various bands and projects ranging from jazz, funk and hip-hop to music from Brazil, Mali, Trinidad and Haiti. Manu Koch relocated to New York in May 2000 where he still lives today.

His Swiss upbringing, a home base in the US for 27 years, and having resided in Brazil, India and China (Hong Kong) for extended amounts of time have formed his perception of the world and sense of sound as much as his work with over 100 artists, bands and projects throughout his professional career.

His sideman work includes collaborations with Angélique Kidjo (US Oyaya! touring band from 2004-2006), Santana’s musical director and former Miles Davis bassist Benny Rietveld (various projects since 2005), Romanian vocalist Teodora Enache, Nigerian talking drum master and vocalist Kofo The Wonderman (band member since 2007), Israeli flutist Mattan Klein (various projects since the late 90’s), Indian guitarist Prasanna, urban folk/jazz artist KJ Denhert, Cape Verdean vocalist Fantcha, French-Moroccan vocalist Malika Zarra, the New York Gypsy All-Stars (touring the US, Brazil, Europe and Asia from 2011-2016), and participating on 15 album productions by blues/soul artist Tomás Doncker for True Groove Records from 2012 -2017.

As a professional Manu Koch has worked with Mahmoud Ahmed, James Chance, Cindy Blackman, Selamino, Lionel Loueke, Grégoire Maret, Gino Sitson, Yacouba Sissoko, Kaïssa, Joca Perpignan, Anat Cohen, Avishai Cohen, Portinho, Vanderlei Pereira, Bob Moses, Mark Simmons, Charles Haynes, Adam Deitch, Magos Herrera, Mendes Brothers and Sekouba Bambino to name a few. He also appeared in concert with top international artists such as Dave Liebman, Trilok Gurtu, Roy Hargrove, Mino Cinelu, Lonnie Plaxico, Graham Haynes, Duduka da Fonseca, Donny McCaslin, Miguel Zenon, Emeline Michel, Vusi Mahlasela and Hüsnü Şenlendirici.

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