© 2013 Gabriel Manzo / MANZO RALLY. All rights reserved.
It's rare to see Gabriel Manzo without a guitar
in his hands.
Gabriel's love of the instrument was first noticed
by his grandmother, who herself played guitar.
Whenever Gabriel accompanied her to the department store, she repeatedly found him staring starry-eyed at the guitars they had on display.
When he was 8 years old, she bought him his first
guitar – a little Stella which he still has to this day – and that guitar became his constant companion.
Within a few years, he played bass guitar in his own musical group, heading up countless school dances and local functions. "We wanted to be like the Beatles," Gabriel grinned.
As times changed and the summer of love blossomed
in San Francisco, a teen-aged Gabriel "used to play hooky and sneak to Haight Ashbury to experience
all the music and sights," he confessed.
"You know, just hang and trip on the whole radical scene. Let it soak in."
There he was exposed to the emerging electric guitar music of Jimi Hendrix and Mike Bloomfield, and soon decided to switch back from bass guitar to lead guitar.
Still in high school, he began writing his own music
and formed The Gabe Christopher Band, which quickly gained local popularity playing dances, concerts,
rallies for Cesar Chavez, and sharing bills with Buddy Miles, Fleetwood Mac, Canned Heat, Elvin Bishop, Richard Bean's group Sapo, and many others.
By 1974, Gabriel was invited to play guitar in the legendary Bo Diddley's band, a favorite of Berkeley's Keystone Corner and other Bay Area venues.
After several years with Bo, Gabriel toured Canada with a soul revue, lived in Hawaii a year playing tourist venues, and returned to the Bay Area where he was a member of various bands.
By 1979 he joined (Malo's original bassist) Pablo Tellez's band with
Pete Escovedo, where he first performed some of the now classic Malo compositions.
"We were doing Nena, Café, Pana and Suavecito in our set lists."
As the 1980s came into view, Gabriel also played guitar in the house band at San Francisco's renowned nightclub, Bayjones.
It was there legendary Latin rock group Malo's Arcelio Garcia first saw Gabriel. Two years later, Gabriel was the first person Arcelio called to resurrect Malo.
"It was just me and Arcelio in the back room of the Tip Top in the Mission, auditioning drummers," Gabriel recalled. "Next thing I knew,
we were on the road, and I've been playing guitar for Malo ever since."
As the first decade of the 21st Century came to a close, it was time for Gabriel to form his own group, to perform his own music, as well as create new music.
More than new music, a new sound, derived from the guitar-driven, rhythm-fueled Latin Rock genre he originally helped pioneer.
“I’ve had this vision for a long time now – to revive the classic, groundbreaking feel of the Latin Rock movement, with new music that draws on some of its strongest raw elements. It was time to make it happen."
The right musicians miraculously seemed to appear to Gabriel at this precise time, and things began to come together.
“I chose various musicians to record the songs I had, based on their individual strengths in relation to distinct things I wanted them to create in the framework of each song. Through those sessions, a solid core emerged, and MANZO RALLY was born.”
Gabriel Manzo is proud to be endorsed by Gibson Guitars.
Among Gabriel Manzo's many credits:
+Lead guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and musical director of the seminal Latin Rock band, MALO 1984 to present.
+ Appears extensively in landmark book titled “The Voices Of Latin Rock”
by Jim McCarthy and Ron Sansoe released 2004.
+ Nine year participant, multiple-year music director, in the prestigious Voices Of
Latin Rock Annual Autism Benefit Concert in San Francisco, featuring a variety
of band mates from the biggest names in music to come from the city by the Bay.
+ Toured as part of Bo Diddley’s band 1974-early 1978.
+ Toured as part of Pete Escovedo and Pablo Tellez’s band 1979-80.
+ Founded Many Faces with Sly & The Family Stone drummer Greg Errico 1999,
recorded CD with Don Smith of Travelling Wilburys fame at the helm.
+ Recorded with Bill Spooner of renowned rock band The Tubes.
+ Recorded with Leonard Hayes of rock band Y & T.
+ Recorded and performed with studio guitar luminary Vernon Black.
+ Recorded and performed with Jorge Santana Band 2000, 2016.
+ Founded faith-based Latin Rock band Bueno 2000, recorded
successful CD backed by several tours.
+ Co-founder and guitarist/songwriter for flamenco group Guitarras Y Congas,
1992 to present - recorded acclaimed CD titled “Chiles.”
+ Studied in-depth with noted jazz guitarist, author and instructor, Warren Nunes.
+ Ongoing student of guitarist/bassist and LA studio legend, the great Carol Kaye.
Besides earning the respect of his listeners and colleagues,
Gabriel has also received two certificates of honor from
the city of San Francisco in recognition of his contribution
to the birth, life and history of Latin Rock music.