German-born Uwe Stengel studied European classical and jazz traditions before coming to Australia on tour in the 1960s. He was profoundly influenced by meeting Dizzy Gillespie as a teenager, and took the band name from a Gillespie composition. He formed Manteca a jazz-fusion band in 1973 on the east coast. The band toured nationally.In the late 70s Stengel moved to Western Australia to form a second version of the band. Manteca became one of Perth's hottest tickets with its (up to) 11 musicians. The band sold out the Old Melbourne and Windsor hotels, took full-page ads in the daily press and featured on national TV. In 1980, Manteca won the Radio 6iX WA Masters of Music Award and the following year featured in a 10-part ABC television series: Manteca In Concert.