Jazz Arts Dept.
A native of Staten Island, New York, Jeremy Manasia began playing piano at the age of 7 after receiving a birthday gift from his godmother for a year of piano lessons. The lessons continued, and in 1985 he was accepted to LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. In his second year of high school he was placed in a jazz history course taught by Justin DiCioccio. Being exposed to jazz like this would prove to forever alter his life. Within two years he would perform at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall with the NY All-City Jazz Band and the McDonald’s Tri-State Jazz Ensemble, featuring artists such as Red Rodney, Arnie Lawrence, Dave Valentin, Steve Turre, and bandmates including Greg Hutchinson, Abraham Burton, Walter Blanding, and Eric McPherson.
In 1989, Jeremy attended Manhattan School of Music, where he was introduced to a larger world of music and jazz through his teachers Harold Danko and Gary Dial. During this time he toured with the Ryan Kisor Quintet, which featured, among others, Chris Potter, Ari Ambrose, and Dwayne Burno. After college Jeremy began regularly attending classes with jazz legend Barry Harris, who connected him with the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, where he received his Master’s degree and studied with the great Dutch jazz pianist Frans Elsan. While in the Netherlands, aside from becoming a regular on the Dutch scene, he toured all over Europe and played on his first recording, The Deep, with the band Five Up High. Jeremy has stayed connected to the Netherlands musically in his recent collaborations with Dutch trumpeter Ellister Van Der Molen.
In 1997, Jeremy returned to his hometown of New York City and soon became a highly in-demand pianist on the New York scene, where he remains today. Jeremy has developed a personal sound and style that has become recognizable and esteemed, as sideman or with his own trio. Jeremy has always remained a student of music, looking to deepen his understanding of the piano, and after returning to New York worked with many great teachers, most notably Harry Whitaker, Chris Anderson, and Sofia Rosoff.
Jeremy has appeared with many great artists, including Jimmy Cobb, Louis Hayes, Javon Jackson, Eddie Henderson, David Williams, Peter Bernstein, Wayne Escoffery, Peter Washington, Joe Magnarelli, Ben Monder, Nnenna Freelon, and Aaron Neville. He performs regularly at New York City’s top jazz clubs, including the Village Vanguard, Dizzy’s, Smalls, Smoke, Mezzrow, the Iridium, and the Blue Note.
To date he has released five records as a leader, which spotlight his work as a composer, arranger, and bandleader. Jeremy has been a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Competition, the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, and the American Pianists Association Jazz Piano Competition.
A member of the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts faculty since 1997, Jeremy has been a panelist for the National YoungArts Foundation and has won a Presidential Scholars Award, numerous Downbeat Student Music awards, and three Charles Mingus Competition awards for his teaching.
Manhattan School of Music Precollege faculty since 1997.