With the release of his CD, The Bottom Line, Michael Manson joined the ranks of today’s premiere jazz artists.
His first single “Outer Drive” reached the top 10 on the R&R Smooth Jazz. Bass-master Michael Manson moved from sideman to center-stage on his solo debut The Bottom Line. This CD is also a Billboard top 20 CD in Contemporary Jazz
For Michael Manson the bottom line has always been great music. Since he first picked up a guitar (not a bass), he has moved persistently from strength to strength, one association leading inevitably to another in a career that has brought him front and center with the most esteemed names in jazz, gospel, R&B, rock and pop.
A native of Chicago, IL, he joined Brian Culbertson and began performing regularly on Chicago’s jazz circuit. In 1999, he was invited to play the Monteux Casino Lights Festival. Sharing the stage with the likes of Boney James, George Duke and Kirk Whalum, he made connections that would eventually lead to a spot performing on the Monteux Jazz Tour.
On Michael Manson’s 2006 CD Just Feelin’ It, he is credited for writing and production. This CD is also a Billboard top 20 CD in Contemporary Jazz. For this album Michael collected the who's who of Smooth Jazz: Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson, Nelson Rangell, Norman Brown, Paul Jackson Jr., the legendary George Duke and many more great jazz musicians. A great mix of contemporary jazz, R&B and even a little gospel, the “Coming Right at Ya” single went on to become a Top 10 R&R hit.
With both unrelenting power and laid-back grace, this recording artist’s third CD entitled Up Front went on sale January 22, 2008 and was released under the quickly expanding Nu Groove Records label. Guest artists on the new CD include: Norman Brown, Steve Cole, George Duke, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Jeff Lorber, Najee and Paul Jackson Jr.
Regarding the release of Up Front, Manson said, “In making Up Front, there were moments of great joy, extreme focus, and some very exciting performances. We've taken some artistic license and "jammed" a little more on this project.
Michael is currently working on his fourth CD project entitled Thumpin’ Live, which is a live CD/DVD package that will be released January 2014. In promotion of this project, Michael will be traveling both domestically and abroad with his ensemble.
Michael along with his wife Lana, have followed a dream. It was their desire to share the gift of music with those who are less fortunate, and economically disadvantaged. In 2010 the Musical Arts Institute was formed with sole purpose of reach the community of South Chicago with excellence in music education. Music lessons and classes are taught conservatory style with college prep being the focus for instruction. To date the school boasts a roster of 120 students with four studios, a computer lab for keyboard and music theory instruction and a string chamber group that regularly performs for various events. In Michael’s words “ we are strong and growing “. We will reach as many young people as possible to share the love music”
For more info visit www.musicalartsinstitute.org or www.mikemanson.com for more information
Michael Manson is a talented school educated, and experienced musician, and music educator. His training is inclusive of intensive work in the Classic, Jazz, Gospel and R&B genres of music. Also, inclusive of his Christian philosophy and training, giving is an iatrical part of his lifestyle. In keeping with this, music is a gift that is meant to serve. Therefore, Michael feels that the gift that was given to him, is to be given back to serve others and specifically his community.
Mentors have played an important part of Michael’s development. His first music mentors included Charles Bowen (former Superintendent of Schools in District 152 in Harvey and part time musician), Yvonne Lindsey (music educator) and perhaps his most important mentor of that time was Mwata Bowden (Chairman of Jazz Music at the University of Chicago). At that time, Mwata was just out of college and into his first teaching position in the Harvey school district. Mwata took an interest in a small group of student musicians that included Michael. He took them “under his wing” and showed them how to practice, rehearse, prepare, and present music. He taught them how to present themselves on stage in music performance and how to be gracious to those who listened and appreciated the gift that was given to them. He was, perhaps, the first one who said to Michael, “If you want to do this for your life’s work, you can do it.” “You have to work and study hard, but you can do it.” Michael has said many times that when he heard this, he believed it, and he set out to make music for all to enjoy and to impact lives. Through the belief in that statement, he has studied hard, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Chicago State University and a Master of Music in Music Education with emphasis on Orchestra Conducting. He continues to sharpen his skills in the field of music education technology at the Vandercook College of Music. That statement and belief has germinated to Michael being able to play and perform his music all over the world, including performances in Northern and Southern Asia, Europe, Northern and Southern Africa, South America, New Zealand, Mexico, and Caribbean Islands. Why is this important? The students in our underserved communities do have dreams, they dream of giving this gift of music back to people all over the world. Some even have proper motives regarding performing. Dreams of stardom are often fleeing, but a lot of students just dream of sharing their gifts with others. These students should hear this from someone who has lived that dream, and accomplished that dream. In addition, they have to be shown the path to achieving that dream and goal. Michael's dream is to effect lives with the power of music just as his life has been changed.