Jonny Mogambo knows how to play |

Jonny Mogambo knows how to play

Aggie Zaremba
Johnny Mogambo at The Club in Vail Village.

His real name is Jonathan Reid Lindner. “Mogambo” is his nickname and also a stage name. When asked why “Mogambo,” he said it came from one of these silly jokes he cracked too many times.

Jokes and stage name aside, he said his passion and occupation is music.

“Singing came first,” said Jonny Mogambo. “My grandmother and my mother were both professional singers. I started to play a guitar about eight or nine years ago, when I got tired of looking for a decent guitarist that would fit into my band.”

He learnt how to play the instrument himself and, indeed, he was successful. After you see him performing, you’ll admit he can make the strings catch a fire.

Before he moved to Colorado, he traveled all around the world entertaining troops.

“I like to travel,” he said. “Additionally, it was paid traveling and I also had a chance to play music.”

He lived in Spain for some time. He also used to play on the streets of East Berlin, memories he has never forgotten.

“It was before the wall came down,” said Mogambo. “I remember playing by one of the shops on the streets of East Berlin. I was approached by a policeman, who told me I’d better go home. The city seemed like it was dead. West part of it was full of life, on the other hand.”

Now he travels all around the states playing his gigs for private parties, but only in summer.

“Life is on the road,” he said. “Plus, I don’t believe in the idea of a starving musician. That’s why I do all kinds of things – weddings, apres ski, tours and club gigs. I think that in order to do what you love, you have to find many ways to do that.”

In winter, Jonny Mogambo entertains tourists and locals giving apres ski performances.

“I started apres ski gigs eight years ago,” he said. “It’s a day-time job, a good way to have your own music out there, and lots of fun.”

But apres ski performance are not the only musical activities Jonny Mogambo is involved in. He has his own funk/rock band named “The Jonny Mogambo Band.” The latest achievement of the group is a new CD titled “Wired and Unplugged.” He also works on having his music played in different media.

“One of my songs is the theme song of an Internet-based benefit program for armed forces called “Voices from Home,'” he said.

Jonny Mogambo plays apres ski gigs in Powder Hounds, every day, except for Wednesday from 4 p.m till the party is over.

“The Jonny Mogambo Band” plays:

March 12 – The Bridge

St. Patrick’s Day – The Bridge

March 28 – Half Moon Saloon in West Vail

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