Armando Rehia Dante Castagnoli was born in Tahiti to an Italian father and Tahitian mother. The third of seven children, his father was a strict taskmaster when it came to his children’s music, and “Mando” and his brothers would march several miles every Sunday playing their instruments before they got to play in the ocean with their friends. That early discipline paid off and Armando’s obvious gifts as a saxophone player and musician were encouraged by Professors from the Music Conservatory of Paris. When his family moved to Powell River B.CAfter graduation Mando moved to Toronto and studied at Humber College with world famous teacher, Pat LaBarbera, who played with Buddy Rich, Woody Herman and the legendary Elvin Jones. In 1984 Armando won the highest award at the BC WOODWIND FINALS.
Mando recorded his first CD, THE BUBBLEHEADS, at the age of 20 and for the next six years was active in the Toronto music scene playing Jazz, Blues, and R&B and becoming proficient at alto, tenor, and soprano saxophone as well as flute and percussion.
In the 90′s Armando acted as the musical director and featured soloist at the famous CLUB NEW ORLEANS in Papeete, Tahiti, and had the opportunity to work with greats like Nathan East, Jimmie Earl, Freddie Ravel, and many more. His collaboration with jazz singer, Chris Bennett, took him to Berlin, Germany and live recordings and guest appearances at the A-TRANE, one of the world’s great jazz clubs. His soldout appearances in Berlin and Los Angeles hi-lite Mando’s unique and beautiful tone, sometimes compared to Stan Getz, as well as his incredible showmanship.
With homebase in his island paradise of Tahiti, Mando now occasionally tours the world with stars such as Otmaro Ruiz, Felix Vilchez,Chris Bennett and more. He has recorded with the legendary Leon Ware and has produced and written several of his own CDs including DANCE FOR PLANET EARTH, now available at CD Baby and I-Tunes. The title cut, AORI NO TE FENUA, is the theme song for the TAHITI MUSIC FESTIVAL. Produced by Armando Castagnoli and Chris Bennett, the 2012 festival will raise awareness of how we can save our oceans and islands such as Tahiti and will bring musicians from all over the world together in unity and celebration.