Legendary American entertainment and media lawyer Joel Katz said of Leslie and the ManDoki Soulmates: “In 1975, Leslie Mandoki chose to ‘live his dream and not dream his life.’ He decided to write music and play these songs with a variety of superstar musicians, who were his idols when he lived behind the Iron Curtain.
In 1992, he founded the concept group, ‘ManDoki Soulmates’ with such acclaimed musicians as Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Bobby Kimball (Toto), Jack Bruce (Cream) and jazz-rock star Al Di Meola.” In addition to these luminaries, for more than two decades the ManDoki Soulmates band has united legendary icons of Anglo-American rock and jazz-rock in a remarkable lineup including Ian Anderson, Jack Bruce, David Clayton-Thomas, Chaka Khan, Chris Thompson, Bobby Kimball and Steve Lukather, Nick van Eede, Eric Burdon, Nik Kershaw, Greg Lake, Al di Meola, Randy and Michael Brecker, Bill Evans, John Helliwell, Mark Hart, Tony Carey, Mike Stern, Midge Ure, Anthony Jackson, Victor Bailey, Pino Palladino, Paul Carrack, Cory Henry, Peter Frampton and Jon Lord. There will probably never be an act with so many Grammy winning and nominated artists playing together as one band on one stage.
Leslie Mandoki is a passionate artist and dreamer, who still believes in the ideals and dreams of his teenage days in then-Communist Hungary. He was 16 years old when his father lost his fight against cancer. Leslie had to promise him that his grandchildren would never have to read censored newspapers. His father’s advice was “Live your dreams and don’t dream your life!”
John Helliwell from Supertramp said about Leslie: “Leslie has been called the ‘Hungarian Quincy Jones,’ by Al di Meola and Steve Lukather of Toto; Jack Bruce of Cream compared him with Duke Ellington; Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull called him ‘the master chef in the kitchen when it comes down to music,’ and Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer called Leslie’s band ‘probably the best in the world,’ which seems like a fair judgement, given the other A-list musicians he’s gathered around him.”
The ManDoki Soulmates stand united in their vision of writing new and fresh music, rooted in the idealism and values of the early 1970s. The idealistic content, virtuosity, and craftsmanship of that decade are at the beating heart of their music. They feel responsible for making the world a better place through music.
The world is changing at a fast pace, but Leslie Mandoki is holding on to his mission to build bridges where unintended and undesirable ruptures have manifested themselves. The world is speaking too loudly about the things that divide us; Mandoki writes his songs about things that bind us together.