Jose Manuel Medina
Composer, arranger and orchestrator. Instruments: piano, synths, sample keyboards and percussion.
Jose was born in Gijón, in the Spanish province of Asturias on March 2nd 1973. When he was twelve years old, he was accepted at Oviedo Conservatory to study Spanish guitar and music theory. However, a year later, he left the music conservatory because he didn’t like the formal teaching on offer. Instead, he continued his education at ‘Jovellanos’ High School in Gijón until 1992 when he began work as a Computer Technical Engineer at Oviedo University, going on to take up a job as a purchasing manager in a local company. Today he is a director of that same company.
His musical career began in 1996, influenced by his father Aquilino Medina and with the help of his friend and musical partner Emilio Gutierrez (one of the top keyboard players in Asturias who plays Hammond on one track of the BC album). Jose took up piano and, in 1997, formed a duo with guitarist Joel Van Eyck called New Harlem. At the end of that same year, he then formed an AOR band called Rider with Emilio and Jose Ramón Gutiérrez.
By 1998 Jose had begun work on his most important solo project to date – Last Knight. This ongoing musical adventure tries to join traditional orchestral styles with electronic music. So, on Last Knight’s albums, you will find Baroque-style melodies and orchestrations woven into electronic and rock rhythms. Jose has written more than 200 pieces for the project so far. Parallel to this, in August of 1998, he became a part of the Canon Jack blues band, playing keyboards and Hammond organ. They recorded an album entitled Sigo Buscando (‘Still Searching’) produced by Jose himself. Canon Jack played live at local venues with Jose as singer and keyboard player until it disbanded in 2001. As if that wasn’t enough, during 2000 he not only worked with Last Knight and Canon Jack but also joined an ethnic combo from Senegal called Africa Bolo.
From 2001 to 2007 Jose continued to work on the Last Knight project, producing and writing five albums – Lord of Time (2001), Journey to the Land of the Wind (2002), Cantabrico (2004), Island of the Outlaws (2005) and Berlin (2007).
In February 2007, Jose was recruited by British music producer and Egyptologist, David Rohl, to be a part of the third re-incarnation of Mandalaband. He saw this ambitious musical project as a great opportunity to learn and understand the British musical style and to work with musicians whom he had admired for many years. Although not a part of the live performance band, Jose works with David and Woolly on the orchestrations of Mandalaband recordings and also contributes to the writing of the musical compositions. At the same time, Jose is working on his biggest production as Last Knight – Talking to the Moon – a double album recorded with the help of several musical friends.