Lawyer-rocker leads 10-day Bococa Arts Festival

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Plenty of performers have worked with Lady Gaga and Ice-T — but only one has worked with one on stage and the other in court.

Andrew Mancilla, who leads a double life as both a criminal defense lawyer and a rocker, is that man, having performed with Lady Gaga and defended the rapper. And now he’ll trade his briefcase for a guitar and piano and headline the 56-artist BoCoCa Arts Festival next week.

But somehow, it all makes sense.

“Music and law both require a lot of creativity,” said Mancilla. “There is a beauty and an art to presenting one’s case to the jury. … When it plays out in the court, it can be a magnificent performance. It’s a different kind of music, but it has a rhythm, a tempo, a certain harmony, an excitement, and an emphasis on performance that parallels music.”

Mancilla lived in the so-called “BoCoCa” area while studying at Brooklyn Law School until 2010, when he both earned his law degree and released his debut album, “Static.” Now, with “associate” status at a Manhattan law firm and an upcoming music video, he can claim fluency in both legalese and the language of music.

“When I try cases on my own, I’ll frequently reference lines from songs,” he said. “And I just recently wrote a tune about cooperating witnesses that was inspired by my upcoming federal case.”

Mancilla’s pop style mixed with the bar exam is just one of many being featured at the 10-day festival from June 17 through 26. He will be joining a troupe that includes the cast of the new stage comedy “Turtle Back High,” sculptor and musician Gilbane Peck and festival favorite BR and Timebomb.

“They have a huge amount of energy and a really wide range,” said festival producer Eileen Trilli.

BR and Timebomb will be helping out with a family outdoor event — a festival first — at Carroll Park on June 18.

Now in its third year, Trilli said the festival has a strong following and is gaining some recognition.

“We’ve started to make a name for ourselves,” Trilli said. “It’s not just music, it’s not just theater, it’s not just visual arts. It’s all three wrapped into one.”

Andrew Mancilla at Linger Café & Lounge [533 Atlantic Ave. between Third and Fourth avenues in Boerum Hill, (347) 689-4813], June 21, 6:20 pm; for other BoCoCa Arts Festival performances, visit

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Reader Feedback

Anferny Rodriguez from Pro-Cro says:
Andrew has the best musik and he's so handsome!!
June 10, 2011, 11:01 am
the b-ster says:
i wouldn't visit a place called pro-cro or bocooca! rock on..without me an my crew.
June 10, 2011, 1:03 pm
gimme from around says:
the very last thing I associate with the art of music is the courtroom, please stop, and please stop performing
June 10, 2011, 6:19 pm
Joseph Meloy from Downtown Brookyn says:
Can we PPPPPLEASE stop with the BoCoCa nonsense???


June 13, 2011, 11:44 am

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