Sarah Manning

Primary Instrument: Saxophone

Born: September 6    

Sarah Manning

Alto saxophonist and composer Sarah Manning is a harmonious creature. She is the lone red fox atop a pile of shale on the outskirts of the urban landscape, her singular musical voice illustrating the contradiction of an artist drawn to the woods even as she feels the gaze of a thousand bright city lamps. With the release of Harmonious Creature on Posi-Tone on January 21st, 2014, she unites the small town and the metropolis with compositions featuring violist Eyvind Kang, electric guitarist Jonathan Goldberger, bassist Rene Hart and drummer Jerome Jennings.

According to JazzTimes critic Carlo Wolff, “There’s something animistic about Manning’s work…Her music – original and brave – shows Manning knows where the wild things are. That’s because she’s one herself.” Much of the work on Harmonious Creature was written in the company of owl, coyote, bear, porcupine and salamander while Manning was an October 2012 Fellow in Composition at the MacDowell Colony. She worked in a studio in the New Hampshire woods Aaron Copland occupied in 1956, inspiring the composition “Copland on Cornelia Street” which imagines the American orchestral composer checking out the after hours New York City improvised music scene....
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2012 MacDowell Colony Fellow in Composition
2010 Third Place in JazzTime's Reader's Poll in the Category of Best New Artist
”Not only is Sarah Manning a fearless and intense player, she’s a fearless and intense composer...Restless, irrepressible, unafraid and unfailingly terse, much of what she does here is transcendent.” - Lucid Culture, on Dandelion Clock

”With Two Rooms Same Door, Sarah Manning’s second CD, the young Bay Area saxophonist announces her arrival as a unique voice in a generation often derided for a lack of individuality. Manning sounds like nobody else, in her distinctive alto tone or in her intriguing compositional style.” — Forrest Dylan Bryant,

”Sarah Manning can swing as naturally as she breathes—an enlivening presence in the new generation of jazz makers” —Nat Hentoff, liner notes for HOUSE ON EDDY STREET

”After more than 40 years of both performing and presenting jazz, it's very unusual and a genuine treat to hear music that's truly unique. This music represents jazz that somehow manages to move beyond typical post-bop elements.” —Bud Spangler, Grammy nominated producer

”...compelling new voice, marked by a big, bracing sound and a knack for delivering angular phrases with graceful precision” —Andrew Gilbert, Contra Costa Times

”Sounding like no one but herself, she possesses a well-focused, slightly edgy tone that suits equally her firmly swinging, uptempo postbop excursions and her highly melodic slow-tempo explorations.” —David Franklin, JazzTimes

”If there is to be jazz in our future, it'll be because of musicians like saxophonist and composer Sarah Manning. Her music is unique, ultra- modern yet steeped in tradition, and it cooks. [She] plays the horn with conviction, fire, determination, and the kind of 'knowing certainty' that usually only comes to players in their middle and later years. She's a player to listen to, starting right now.” —Jessica Williams, Pianist

”Manning vaults out of the gate with a concentration reminiscent of 1961-era ‘Trane. Breathtaking.” —Kenneth Egbert, Jazz Now

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    Harmonious Creatures

    Posi-Tone Records
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    Dandelion Clock

    Posi-Tone Records
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    House On Eddy Street

    Elflion Records

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Primary Instrument:

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Available for private instruction in studio or via Skype. Sarah Manning has a wide variety of experience with students of all ages. She has taught as an adjunct private lessons instructor at Smith College, at Berkeley California's Jazzschool Summer Youth Music Program, the Jazzschool Course "Improvising Eighth Note Lines" for adults, Composition and Performance at Excel at Amherst College, and as a music instructor (sax, clarinet, trombone, trumpet) in the South Hadley Public Schools. Through innovative web platform ArtistShare, she created an audio class "Seeking a Sound Beyond the Classroom", and she has given seminars on internet promotion at the Jazzschool and Berkeley Public Library. She has coached small jazz ensembles through a teaching assistantship at the University of Massachusetts. She is available to teach privately either in studio or via Skype.

Keilwerth SX90R Black Nickel
Meyer 6 mouthpiece
Vandoren Java Reeds, Strength 4

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