Bob Mann has been playing guitar since he was thirteen years old. He was initially influenced by what he heard on the radio…Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and The Everly Brothers. Under the tutelage of his father, an established NY studio pianist, Bob began to expand his musical interests by adding the trumpet to his repertoire and exploring the music of Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane.
Bob continued his education by majoring in music theory at Queens College and the Manhattan School of Music. His college summers were spent honing his performance skills at resorts in the Catskills, playing the shows and jamming after hours with many of the East Coast’s best young jazz players.
A tour with Charles Aznavour led Bob to Washington D.C. where he successfully auditioned for the Airmen of Not, the official USAF concert jazz band. With the Vietnam War in full swing, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. In addition to performing, it afforded him the unique opportunity to begin writing arrangements for big band.
Returning to civilian life in New York, Bob was soon in demand as both a session player and a sideman for live performances. His versatility was evident as he did concert and club dates with Chico Hamilton, Herbie Mann and The Brecker Brothers. He played on a diverse array of bit recordings by Tony Orlando, Gloria Gaynor, Bonnie Raitt, BJ Thomas, Gladys Knight, Melissa Manchester, The Chambers Brothers and Astrud Gilberto. He also went on to record and tour with the powerhouse rock group Mountain, featuring Leslie West and Felix Papillardi.