Maná is a popular pop/rock band from México whose career has spanned more than two decades. They have earned three Grammy Awards, five Latin Grammy Awards, 5 MTV Video Music Awards Latin America, three Premios Juventud awards, nine Billboard Latin Music Awards and 12 Premios Lo Nuestro awards. Their sound has been described as being anywhere from pop rock, latin pop, calypso to reggae. They initially received notoriety and commercial success in Australia and Spain and have since gained popularity and exposure in the US, Western Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. They have sold more than 22 million albums.
The history of Sombrero Verde (Green Hat) began in 1978, when a group of young men from Guadalajara decided to reunite and play various songs from groups that they admired. It was formed by José Fernando "Fher" Olvera (vocalist), Gustavo Orozco (electric guitar) and the Calleros Brothers: Juan Diego (bass), Ulises (electric guitar) and Abraham (drums). Initially they had been called The Green Hat Spies, but soon after they shortened it to Green Hat. Soon after that, focusing on their Latin roots and repertoire to Spanish, they changed their name to Sombrero Verde (the translation of Green Hat).
In 1981 they released their first album called Sombrero Verde, with the Ariola label. It included the singles "Vampiro," "Professor," "Long Time" and "Despiértate."
For their second album the group teamed with Cisne Raff to release A Tiempo de Rock in 1983. Popular singles included "Laura," "Hechos Nada Más" and "Me Voy al Mar".
Unhappy with the direction Polygram was taking them, they switched labels to Warner Music. The group's first album under Warner was Falta Amor, which was released in 1990, but did not become a hit until the following year. The third track from that album "Rayando el Sol" became their first hit single. They began to tour, performing more than 250 times in Mexico, and abroad in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.
In 1991, they added two new members to the group, Iván González on keyboards and César "Vampiro" López on guitar. Ulises Calleros no longer performed with the group, but became one of their managers. On October 27, 1992, the band released ¿Dónde Jugarán Los Niños?, an album that spawned many hits (Vivir Sin Aire, Oye Mi Amor, Como Te Deseo) and cemented Maná's status as a bona-fide supergroup. Buoyed by their success, the band undertook an international tour with 268 concerts in 17 countries.
In 1994, Iván González and César López left the group. Fher Olvera, Alex González, and Juan Calleros continued to perform as a trio and released a live album titled Maná en Vivo with the collaboration of Gustavo Orozco on guitar, Sheila Ríos on vocals, and Juan Carlos Toribio on keyboards.
In 1995, Sergio Vallín was brought in to replace César on guitar. The group released Cuando los Ángeles Lloran. The group also started a foundation that year, Selva Negra, to advocate for ecological causes.
In 1997, the group released Sueños Líquidos, recorded in Puerto Vallarta, which hit the markets in 36 countries simultaneously. The recording received a Grammy as Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album. They also released a retrospective album for distribution in Spain called Todo Maná.
In 1999, after much insistence, Maná decided to accept MTV's proposition and produced a record and DVD with acoustic versions of their best songs, recorded in a relaxed and intimate environment. The result was Maná MTV Unplugged, one of the best sellers of the video channel's series.
In 2002, in an attempt to blend their sound with the essence of rock and roll from the sixties and seventies, the band released Revolución de Amor in 2002 which garnered Maná their fourth Grammy. The band released a new version of “Eres mi Religión” for the Italian market in 2003, a duet with noted musician Zucchero who in turn invited the band to play in a special version of "Baila Morena". This same year they were invited to participate in Pavarotti & Friends concert, an annual event where they shared the limelight with Queen, Deep Purple, Ricky Martin, Andrea Bocelli, Zucchero and Bono. They felt something in common with Bono since they share the same interests in environmental and social causes.
In 2006, after a four-year hiatus, they released their seventh studio album, Amar es Combatir. It reached #4 on the Billboard Top 200 in its first week, selling over 60,000 copies in the first week (according to Billboard.com). Their first single off the album, "Labios Compartidos", has been at the top of the music charts since its debut in July when they played the song live at the Premios Juventud.
In 2008, Maná released "Arde El Cielo", in both a CD and CD/DVD package. This release shows the band performing live during the Amar es Combatir Tour in support of the Amar es Combatir album, which marked a high point in Maná's career and in Latin music.
In April 2010, Maná announced on their Facebook page that they are working on a new album to be released in the summer of 2010.
On 29 March 2007, Puerto Rico's Channel 4, WAPA's News program, reported that Maná publicly supported Puerto Rico's prospective independence. In an interview that followed the aforementioned news announcement, the members of Maná were interviewed by Channel 4 (WAPA) journalist, Rafael Lenín López, who asked them what they thought about Puerto Rico. Maná members confirmed that they support the Puerto Rican Independence Movement and favor greater sovereignty for the Latin American and Caribbean island-nation.
Various of their songs have political inspirations. The liner notes for "Me Voy a Convertir en Un Ave," on the album Sueños Líquidos, for example, notes that the song is "inspired by the book Pedro y el capitán by Mario Benedetti and dedicated to all those who, for defending an ideal of justice, are persecuted or find themselves imprisoned. To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation communities for peace and dignity."
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. FAO was founded on October 16, 1945 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The FAO Goodwill Ambassadors Programme was initiated in 1999. Maná was nominated and appointed FAO Ambassadors on October 16, 2003. Maná wishes to help FAO’s message reach and inspire younger audiences. Maná emphasized that their song "Justicia, Tierra y Libertad" (in English: Justice, Land and liberty [freedom]) from the Revolución de Amor album, is a message of hope and inspiration in the search of a world without hunger, ironically the song appears in a Chevrolet commercial. The group is donating a portion of the ticket office collections to the FAO during its present tour of the United States. They will continue designating part of their gains to this organization during the rest of the tour of the United States and Mexico.
The problems of the environment have always been one of the worries of Maná, including many themes related to the ecological crisis that some believe the planet is experiencing. But the group certainly believes that it’s not enough to just say or declare it, but that the matter has to be taken in the hands of all humanity, because world governments cannot do it alone. For Maná, going from saying it to doing it, with regards to preserving the planet, consisted of creating The Selva Negra Foundation in 1995, which collaborates actively with governments to guarantee our kids a livable planet. There is a lot more to do, and Maná is an organization that does not like to sit idle during rough times. Since its creation, Selva Negra has financed and supported many important projects in favor of a healthier environment.
* Fher Olvera — lead vocals, acoustic guitar, rhythm guitar
* Alex González — drums, backup vocals
* Juan Calleros — bass guitar
* Sergio Vallín — electric guitar
Live Band Members:
* Juan Carlos Toribio — keyboards, piano, flute. From 1994–present.
* Fernando "Psycho" Vallin — rhythm guitar, 2nd bass guitar, backup vocals. From 1997–present.
* Hector Quintana — percussion, backup vocals. From 2006–present.
* Abraham Calleros — drums. From 1978–1985.
* Gustavo Orozco — electric guitar. From 1978–1985.
* Ulises Calleros — electric guitar. From 1978–1991.
* Cesar "Vampiro" Lopez — electric guitar. From 1991–1994.
* Ivan Gonzalez — keyboards. From 1991–1994.
* Sheila Rios — backup vocals. From 1992–2003.
* Luis Conte — percussion. From 1992–2005.