Jesse Manno
Music Director • Associate Teaching Professor

Room C336, University Theatre Building
261 UCB, Boulder CO, 80309

Fall Office Hours: Monday-Wednesday 9:50a-10:10a, Tuesday 9:30a-10:10a, or by appointment.

Jesse Manno was born into a performing arts family in New York City in 1966 and grew up there and in Fort Collins, Colorado. He began improvising, composing and performing music professionally in 1982 and has since fulfilled over 200 commissions for original scores, including over 30 evening length works.  In order of frequency, these have come from modern/post-modern dance, theatre, film/video, circus arts, special event, and purely musical interests.

His work has been presented in all fifty U.S. states, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, the U.K., Hong Kong, Singapore, Cuba, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia at a wide variety of venues including the John Houseman Theater and Lamb’s Theater (Off Broadway NYC), the Joyce Theatre (NYC), the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), Pacific Place (Hong Kong), The Denver Center, and The Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.).  Presenting entities have included The Bates Dance Festival, Ohio PBS, Denver PBS, B.A.M. in association with Dance Motion USA (US State Department), Sacred Mysteries, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, West America Turkic Council, City Neon (Istanbul), Lazer Vaudeville, David Taylor Dance Theatre, Salt Dance Festival, Turning The Wheel Inc., Columbia College, Smith College, Florida Dance Festival, The City of Denver, and many others. Support of Manno’s collaborative work has also come from the National Guild of Organists, Colorado Council on the Arts, The Boulder Arts Commission, Montgomery Watson, Henckell Trocken (DE), Swire Properties (HK), and others. He has received three project grants from the NEA’s Meet The Composer, Inc. and is a two- time Kennedy Center Certificate of Merit award recipient.

Collaborating Artistic directors include David Dorfman, Robert Cohen, Onye Ozuzu, Robert Moses, Gabriel Masson, Sharron Rose, Tamara Meneghini, Nancy Smith, Aiken/Hauser, Alana Shaw, David Taylor, Michael Foley, Heidi Henderson, Marianela Boan, Mel Wong, and Peter Davison.  Collaborating musicians include Robert Een, Beth Quist, Mike Vargas, James Hoskins, and Ty Burhoe. Jesse has released 8 albums of his own work, and has played on over 50 different albums by others.  He also works as a Music Producer, welcoming artists from varying genres into his project studio to arrange, record and mix their albums (1-3 a year).

He sings in Greek, Turkish, Arabic and French and plays a variety of lutes, flutes, keyboard and percussion instruments, sometimes 2 or 3 at once (a skill developed while playing for modern dance classes).  30+ years of composing/improvising in support of others' creative visions has fostered a broad stylistic range -from electronica and musique concrete to minimalism and neo-romanticism. He is a founding member of the Balkan/Middle Eastern Music Ensemble SHEREFE, featured at festivals, weddings, conferences, and special events in the rocky mountain region and beyond.       

Jesse received musical training and a BA in Asian studies from the University of Colorado Boulder and continues to study sporadically. He taught composition in the music department at Naropa University, and has taught many workshops and master classes at many other Universities and Arts organizations. He has been an Artist in Residence at the Bates Dance Festival annually since 1998, and has served part time as Music Director of the CU Boulder Dance Program since 1991. There he accompanies dance technique classes, supervises musicians, and teaches music courses for dancers.