Friday Aug 23

Smooth Jazz Summer Nights: Michael Manson

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With grace and gravitas, contemporary R&B bassist Michael Manson will fill the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing with his rich musical stylings on Friday, August 23.


This free, outdoor concert series highlights renowned jazz and blues musicians from across the globe, creating performances enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds, each Friday night in August. 


About Michael Manson

With the release of his previous CD, The Just Feelin It, Michael Manson joined the ranks of today’s premiere jazz artists.


His first single "Coming Right At Ya" reached the top 10 on the R&R Smooth Jazz chart. Bass-master Michael Manson moved from sideman to center-stage on his solo debut The Bottom Line.


On Michael Manson’s new CD Up Front, he is credited for writing and production. For this album, Michael has collected the who's who of Smooth Jazz: Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson, Nelson Range, Norman Brown, Paul Jackson Jr., the legendary George Duke, and many more great jazz musicians. This album is a great mix of contemporary jazz, R&B, and even a little gospel.


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.


Manson's uniquely lyrical voice has its roots in Chicago, Illinois. He recalls, "My grandmother and mother played piano, but no one else in the family was really involved in music. My dad had an old beat-up folk guitar that he never picked up and so my older brother and I got interested in music about the same time I was fourteen and started playing it. After that, we bugged my mom to buy us some instruments. She finally bought my brother a guitar and me a $25.00 bass and a $25.00 amp that we shared.”


At Chicago State University, he joined the Chicago State Gospel Choir. After his graduation from Chicago State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, he went on to complete a Masters in Music Performance at Northwestern University. In 1995 Manson met Steve Finkle (now Steve Cole) who was playing with Brian Culbertson. Soon Manson was playing the Chicago club circuit and touring in support of Culbertson's City Lights. Manson went on to record selections on Brian’s After Hours in '97. That same year, one of his gospel connections put him together with Kirk Whalum, and he ended up playing on the Dove and Stellar-Award nominated "The Gospel According To Jazz." Recorded live at the Roy Acuff Theatre, it featured Whalum, George Duke, and Paul Jackson Jr. "That's how I met George Duke in '97," quips Manson.


Manson's association with George Duke ultimately led to the gig of a lifetime. George, who was the musical director and a featured artist on the Montreux Jazz tour (summer of 2000), invited Manson onboard, where he shared the stage with his greatest childhood hero, Al Jarreau, along with David Sanborn, Roberta Flack, and Joe Sample. 


Manson has shared the stage with Warner Bros. Records artists Larry Carlton, Kirk Whalum, Boney James, Rick Braun, Kenny Garret, George Duke, and Kevin Mahogany. Other Warner artists featured on the album included Fourplay (with bassist Nathan East), Bob James and Gabriel Anders. 


For Michael Manson, love of musical communication, exploration, collaboration, and celebration is clearly what it’s all about. To learn more, follow Manson on Facebook.


Free and open to the public.

Wheelchair accessible.


Great Plaza Policies:

Chairs - Chairs may not be left unoccupied on the Great Plaza prior to concert start time. Any chair(s) left unoccupied will be removed. We understand this practice was a long-standing tradition, however, the security and safety of guests visiting the Delaware River Waterfront is our top priority.


Alcohol - Outside alcohol is not permitted inside the gated area of the Great Plaza. Guests bringing alcohol into the gated area can / will be asked to leave the Great Plaza – or any DRWC owned and operated property – and escorted from the premises.


Coolers - Coolers are not allowed at concerts on the Great Plaza.


Smoking - Smoking – including e-cigarettes and/or vaping mechanisms – is not allowed on any DRWC owned and operated property.

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