Joe Manis

SteepleChase recording artist Joe Manis is quickly creating a strong presence in the Northwest jazz scene with the strength of his “intense, updated take on the glorious Rollins-'Trane tradition.” (Willamette Week) He released his debut album Evidence in 2009 on the 8Bells label, featuring Manis on tenor saxophonist, Brooklyn drummer Kevin Congleton, and Portland luminary Dave Captein on bass: the Willamette Week called the album “explosive,” and said “(Manis) makes Pink Floyd's 'Money' sound like something a young John Coltrane might have played”; the Eugene Weekly called Evidence “Fabulous... Will thrill fans of Monk, Rollins.”

Manis is the recipient of a 2013 Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship. His most recent album, North By Northwest, features George Colligan on organ and Kevin Congleton on drums, and was released by SteepleChase LookOut Records in 2013.

The Joe Manis Trio was featured at Rontoms during the 2010 PDX Jazz Festival, a high-energy performance that was a featured Willamette Week “Pick” and received praise from local music critics and bloggers; the Trio returned to the Festival in 2011 and 2013. Recent Joe Manis Trio appearances include Fat Cat NYC, the Shedd Institute’s jazz series, and the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival.

Manis has played with Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited, including a recent performance at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, and appears on their album Rise Up! on Real World Records; he has also performed with the Temptations, Wayne Newton, the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, the Sunriver Music Festival Orchestra, the Eugene Opera, and with the Ken Schaphorst Big Band featuring trombonist Andre Hayward. He has toured Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland, UK, & the US. Manis was formerly a member of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and appears on the Daddies' albums Susquehanna, Skaboy JFK: The Skankin' Hits of..., White Teeth, Black Thoughts, and a forthcoming tribute album.

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“Killin’... Manis has a big tenor sound, and an aggressive improvisational approach... (a) tough young tenor.”

— George Colligan,

“Makes Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ sound like something a young John Coltrane might have played...”

— Willamette Week

“Fresh and diverse... Manis led the Trio with a veteran’s touch.”

— Oregon Music News

“Fabulous... Will thrill fans of Monk, Rollins.”

— Eugene Weekly


— Statesman Journal

“…a sophisticated fast-punch of intricate and traditional boppy jazz sounds.”


“Superior musicianship…Quiet, complex and stimulating – a compelling mix for the jazz enthusiast.”

— Eugene Daily News

“...seriously next-level musicianship.”

— Salem Weekly



North by Northwest

SteepleChase Records



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