Mongolian Monkfish

Funk, rock, and soul music from New York City

Alive@Five – Featuring Shaggy 8/13/15

Posted by on Jun 27, 2015 in Gigs

Alive@Five – Featuring Shaggy 8/13/15

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Happy summer!! We¬†return to the stage at Downtown Stamford’s ‘Alive@Five’ on Thursday, August 13 at 5:00pm. We will perform before Shaggy!

Get ready for some brand new, ass kicking Monkfish tunes. We will have shirts, hats, and our new music available for purchase DURING OUR SET ONLY..

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the event. Open to all ages BEFORE 7:00pm. 21+ AFTER 7:00pm.

See you all there!

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Jazz up July 2014 6:30PM 7/30/14

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 in Jazz Up, Press

Catch Mongolian Monkfish

Live at Jazz up July 2014

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Rock of ages: Three local bands from three different generations set to take the stage at Greenwich Town Party

Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Greenwich Town Party, Press

Rock of ages: Three local bands from three different generations set to take the stage at Greenwich Town Party

By Justin Pottle
Friday, May 23 2014

It takes playing small gigs at small clubs in front of tough crowds. It takes long days of practice and precious optimism. And it takes constant reinvention. Just ask Mongolian Monkfish, a group of Greenwich High School buddies who’ve graduated into the crowded Metro New York music scene. The Horn-laden funk sextet started as four neighborhood friends – vocalist Jamie Khalifa, bassist Nick Coletti, drummer Sammy Lebreton and guitarist Gianni Barbera – riffing on a Southern California reggae-rock.

“What we originally wanted to do was pretty easy with the four of us, but over the years we got bored with it,” said Lebreton. “We wanted to fill out our sound a little more, so we started experimenting.”

As they played shows in small venues throughout Fairfield County and New York, their sound, infulenced by other bands they met along the way, began to revolve toward R&B and funk. Two old friends, Ben Pinkert on trumpet and Oskar Perskaas on saxophone, and a new one, keyboardist Helena Martin, joined the roster.

“We took the edge off the guitars, turned down the distortion,” said Coletti.

“It’s a more mature sound,” Pinkert chips in.

Lebreton’s quick to interject: “But we still rock out.”

Now, despite playing together for several years, the band remains in flux. But that’s not a bad thing – Mongolian Monkfish deftly passes from their early hard-charging funk to a more nostalgic, AM radio sound – sometimes in the span of a single song. They’re all working towards finding a sweet spot, the band says.

They’re all working towards finding a sweet spot, the band says. “We’re all pulling back a little,” said Coletti. But the band, now in their mid-20s, says they’ve got their priorities figured out.

“Even if we don’t get a lot done in our practices or when we’re recording,” said Pinkert, “it’s never a waste of time.”

That ideal, playing music for music’s sake, isn’t a new or inaccessible one. And even for those who long ago gave up a life on tour and on stage for steady employment and a mortgage, its effect isn’t lost.

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