Legend is an understatement. Sit with master-of-all-trades Mino Cinélu in any café and more likely than not, a record will come on that he’s performing on. Sting, Miles Davis, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Kate Bush, Vicente Amigo, Dizzy Gillespie, Pat Metheny, Kate Bush, Branford Marsalis, Pino Daniele, Earth, Wind & Fire and Salif Keita are just a tiny selection of the international pop, world and jazz stars that Mino has worked with since the late ’70s.
Born in Paris to a French mother and a father from Martinique, Mino mainly taught himself, first the guitar and bass and then, drums and percussion. His professional career was launched by age 15! Mino has released four albums under his own name, appeared on countless records as a composer, co-leader, guest or sideman. Cinélu has scored the music for several films, documentaries and TV commercials. For the film La Californie, Mino was nominated as one of the 10 best film composers at the distinguished 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
His current ensemble has been performing in New York and Montreal. While preparing for his own next album release, Mino has also joined forces with Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, for a unique duo recording titled SulaMadiana, to be released in August 2020 on BMG Records.
Bearer of the prestigious Knighthood of France’s “Ordre des Arts et Lettres,” Mino is also a singer and composer who is heard on various recordings including the Grammy® nominated Weather Report Album: Sportin Life, which not only features Mino’s voice but also his composition “Confians”. As a composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Mino has earned a reputation as a “master-of-all-trades.” He has three solo album credits of his own: Mino Cinélu, Quest Journey and La Californie. In addition, he produced the album Carnet De Bord for French singer/songwriter Bernard Lavilliers as well as Swamp Sally, a duo release with himself and jazz pianist Kenny Barron. Mino was also the co-leader and producer of World Trio featuring himself with guitarist Kevin Eubanks and bassist Dave Holland, in 1995.
Whether playing percussion, drums, guitar, keyboards or singing, Mino brings his signature infectious personality full of warmth and joie de vivre, coupled with decades of intense study in a wide variety of styles from around the world — from the streets of Paris to Dakar, to the Mississippi Delta, to Japan, to the Caribbean island of Martinique. He’s equally comfortable being the consummate accompanist as he is being the center of attention, and can command an extensive ensemble as well as perform his own breathtaking one-man-band show.