As a performer, recording artist, dancer and choreographer for more than twenty years, Angel Ferreira has grown up in the music business. He’s performed with everyone from Madonna to Vanessa Williams. After a strong career as a dance artist, Angel adopted a new style and became a bandleader, fronting the Afro-Cuban soul band Angel and the Mambokats. He’s recently seen one of the tracks from his self-produced and released album Horizontal Mambo break huge—on TV.
Twenty millions of viewers heard the track “Black Mambo” as the dance number for Benji and Heidi on Season Two of So You Think You Can Dance? Then, millions more saw Olympic gold medalist Misty Mae Traynor and Maksim dance to “Black Mambo” on Dancing with the Stars.
Next week, millions of viewers will see and hear Black Mambo again on So You Think You Can Dance: Top Dances Special The show airs Wednesday, September 2nd on Fox at 8:00PM Pacific/7:00PM Central Time (check local listings for precise air times) and the song has breathed new life into Angel Ferreira’s career.
I’m delighted these dance programs and artists have embraced Angel and the Mambokats,” Angel says. “The music of the Mambokats is sexy, sultry and tribal with an unmistakably Latin flavor, so it’s only natural people would want to dance to it. I’m just grateful the likes Benji and Misty Mae have chosen to dance to it. It’s really propelled downloads of my music.”
Trained in dance and music, Angel Ferreira developed a potent, appealing mix of street and slick growing up in Los Angeles. For Angel, early skate culture with an Aerosmith and Ted Nugent soundtrack thrived along study with the Cleveland Ballet, and he won a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet in New York before being cast as an extra on the film BEAT STREET in 1984.
He danced his way from the Cat Club in Manhattan to a featured dancing gig on Madonna’s “Who’s That Girl?” world tour. From there, he started recording music, making music videos, Coke commercials and stints with Daisy Fuentes, Paula Abdul, Color Me Bad, Coolio, and more. Oh, and he also recorded and released “Angel,” an album of dance/pop songs, the singles “Wet Jam” and “Your Love Just Ain’t Right”. These records spun off several videos.
Today, the musical hybrid of afro-Cuban, soul, jazz and hip hop Angel calls Afro-Cuban Soul defines both his heritage and his music—reaching all the way back to the Tito Puente and Celia Cruz records his parents played at home. As times changed, so did his sound—into something that became a musical culmination of his personal life.
The album Horizontal Mambo features nourishing songs of lost and found love in L.A.'s well-heeled districts. The track “Black Mambo” is a fast mambo that describes Angel’s quest for infinite love and was first captured in the essence of dance by America’s favorite male and female dance contestants of 2007, Benji and Heidi. Fans and pundits agree this was one of the top ten dances ever on SYTYCD. Earlier this year, Angel went to China where he helped choreograph Wu Ling Da Wei, a Chinese version of American Idol that is the country’s most popular show. 50 million people saw that performance. “Now THAT’s a lot of people,” Angel quips."
Angel’s polishing his latest effort, an EP called Mambophonic. It features three tracks: two news songs, “Friday Night Rhvthm,” that was also used in another episode of So You Think You Can Dance; and “Do You Wanna Mambo?” as well as a cover of the famous Haircut 100 hit, “Favorite Shirts (AKA Boy Meets Girl).” “People need music in their lives!.....It’s part of the rhythm of life!” Angel concludes. “Do you wanna mambo?”
Angel and the Mambokats’ Horizontal Mambo is available on iTunes or from www.myspace.com/angelandthemambokats.
Fans can purchase the full-length CD from www.angelandthemambokats.com.