David Manson

David Manson

Musicians | Instrument: Trombone | Location: Tampa

Manson is a multi-dimensional musician. He expands the musical framework for the trombone and produces challenging sounds in the process. His thought processes run deep, resulting in music with stimulating and logically flowing characteristics built into brawny trombone execution.

—Frank Rubolino, Cadence

Updated: December 23, 2022

David Manson is a trombonist, composer, improvisor, presenter and music technologist with a diverse range of experience in music. His degrees include a doctorate from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He began his performance career with positions in the Florida West Coast Symphony Orchestra and Memphis Symphony Orchestra and taught low brass and jazz studies at Indiana State University before returning to Florida. He has been soloist and composer with the BONK New Music Festival, Subtropics New Music Festival, Society of Composers and SEAMUS. He has performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Eugene Chadbourne, John Lindberg, Davey Williams and other innovators.  He has also backed popular artists including Henry Mancini, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Johnny Mathis, Burt Bacharach and toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

David's solo recordings include "Modern Music for Trombone" (lps 3209) and "Beast" (isospin). His releases as leader, composer/arranger and soloist include "Particle Zoo" with ensemble SHIM, "Fluid Motion" with jazz legend Sam Rivers and "Infinita Bossa", "A Kiss for Rio" and "Go!" with Brazilian band O Som Do Jazz and "Radiant Forces" with the Helios Jazz Orchestra. He was trombonist and arranger for Bogus Pomp, a Frank Zappa repertoire band from 1993-2007. 

David is a recipient of Artist Fellowships in music composition from the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida Arts Council and Creative Pinellas, a Fulbright-Hays project in Turkey, an artist feature in the JazzSouth radio program, and grants from Meet The Composer. His orchestral works have been performed by the Florida Orchestra. Recent television placements of his music include HBO, Fox, CW, ABC, BBC and AMC.

David directs the EMIT series of adventurous music at the Salvador Dali Museum and other venues. Through EMIT, David has presented over 500 concerts of adventurous music and educational activities. He was awarded the title of Distinguished Faculty at St. Petersburg College in 2015.

He directs the Helios Jazz Orchestra, leads the Brazilian group O Som Do Jazz and avant-jazz group ERG. He teaches jazz studies and Pro Tools courses in the MIRA (Music Industry/Recording Arts) program at St. Petersburg College. He is the founder and director of the annual St. Petersburg Jazz Festival, in its 14th season.


National Endowment for the Arts & Creative Pinellas Individual Artist Award for Composition
St. Petersburg Arts Alliance Individual Artist Award for Composition
Distinguished Faculty title at St. Petersburg College
Fulbright project in Turkey
JazzSouth radio feature for SHIM
two Florida Division of Arts and Culture Fellowships for composition
ASCAP Awards


All About Jazz Articles

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"Working in more experimental vein, and pushing the boundaries of trombone virtuosity into unexpected directions, Manson has filled this release with a variety of settings for his instrument... Suffice to say the trombone is alive and well, and conspiring with other renegade spirits to form a bestiary of intriguing and kaleidoscopic sound collages." - Marino Guida, Tangents

“Trombonist David Manson has fashioned an extraordinary array of compositions for this quintet, featuring the great saxophonist Sam Rivers... At times, the band purveys a 60s style “Blue Note Records,” sound! But, the thrust of this outing is founded upon bouncy rhythmic structures to coincide with the artists’ expressive unison choruses. Consequently, the title Fluid Motion, denotes just one of the many notable attributes witnessed on this incontestably superb effort! (Zealously recommended…)” —Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz

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Clinic/Workshop Information

David Manson is available for workshops in a variety of topics including:

Music Technology... using new computer applications from a musician's viewpoint

Trombone Through the Ages... a look at the instrument and repertoire from a historical perspective

Making Your Way in Music... skills you need to survive in the business of music

The Real Bossa Nova... how the Brazilians created the most beautiful music on the planet

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Artists who share similar musical characteristics to David Manson.

Raul De Souza
George Lewis
Sam Rivers
saxophone, tenor



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David Manson Albums