Mino Cinelu Biography

Dominique Cinelu, 10 March 1957, St. Cloud, France. Born into an immigrant family from Martinique, Cinelu was raised in Paris and soon developed an interest in music, in particular in percussion. After working in groups accompanying singers, Cinelu began playing jazz in the 70s and at the end of the decade moved to New York City to record with Dizzy Gillespie and Gato Barbieri. In the early 80s, the Mino Cinelu Ensemble, which included Ricky Ford and singer Andy Bey, attracted some attention but it was with Miles Davis and Weather Report that the percussionist’s international reputation was established. A mid-80s trio with John Scofield and Darryl Jones consolidated his place as did repeat performances with Davis and other work, several under his own leadership, with artists such as Victor Bailey and Kevin Eubanks. He has also recorded as sideman with Kenny Barron, Robin Eubanks, David Sanborn, Harvie Swartz and Ernie Watts, and released his self-titled debut as leader in 2000.

In addition to numerous percussion instruments, Cinelu also plays several stringed instruments, including banjo, guitar and mandolin. His time with Davis and Weather Report has left him with a liking for electronically enhanced instrumentation and latter-day studio technology. Usually, however, he adapts the technology to suit the music rather than the other way around and his performances are often exciting and they can also be good fun.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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