Lawyer-rocker leads 10-day Bococa Arts Festival

Lawyer-rocker leads 10-day Bococa Arts Festival
Andrew Mancilla, one of the many artists performing at this year’s BoCoCa Arts Festival, rocks out both on stage and in the courtroom.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Mancilla

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 www.bococaartsfestival.com.

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