Bob Mann has been playing guitar since he was thirteen years old. He was initially influenced by what he heard on the radio…Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and The Everly Brothers. Under the tutelage of his father, an established NY studio pianist, Bob began to expand his musical interests by adding the trumpet to his repertoire and exploring the music of Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane.
Bob continued his education by majoring in music theory at Queens College and the Manhattan School of Music. His college summers were spent honing his performance skills at resorts in the Catskills, playing the shows and jamming after hours with many of the East Coast’s best young jazz players.
A tour with Charles Aznavour led Bob to Washington D.C. where he successfully auditioned for the "Airmen of Not," the official USAF concert jazz band. With the Vietnam War in full swing, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. In addition to performing, it afforded him the unique opportunity to begin writing arrangements for big band.
Returning to civilian life in New York, Bob was soon in demand as both a session player and a sideman for live performances. His versatility was evident as he did concert and club dates with Chico Hamilton, Herbie Mann and The Brecker Brothers. He played on a diverse array of bit recordings by Tony Orlando, Gloria Gaynor, Bonnie Raitt, BJ Thomas, Gladys Knight, Melissa Manchester, The Chambers Brothers and Astrud Gilberto. He also went on to record and tour with the powerhouse rock group Mountain, featuring Leslie West and Felix Papillardi.
In 1975 Bob moved to Toronto and was soon recording with Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot and Dan Hill. While continuing to expand into jingle and TV work, he traveled to LA to arrange and play on albums by Merry Clayton, Bill Medley, and the Crusaders.
The early 80’s found Bob back in the big band mode, recording and touring with Linda Ronstadt and the legendary Nelson Riddle. He also had the honor of arranging and conducting Linda’s duet with James Ingram on the Grammy winning single "Somewhere Out There."
Bob’s recording work with James Taylor began in 1987 on "Never Die Young." Touring with James was a natural progression, and in between the road work Bob continued to record for a stellar roster of artists including Cher, Neil Diamond, Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion. He also found time to arrange Jamie Walter’s number one single "How Do You Talk To An Angel?" as well as compose for episodic television (Matlock, Frank’s Place) and independent films (T-Bone and Weasel, Family Prayers).