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Sarah Manning

Alto saxophonist and composer Sarah Manning is a harmonious creature. She is the lone red fox atop a pile of shale on the outskirts of the urban landscape, her singular musical voice illustrating the contradiction of an artist drawn to the woods even as she feels the gaze of a thousand bright city lamps. With the release of Harmonious Creature on Posi-Tone on January 21st, 2014, she unites the small town and the metropolis with compositions featuring violist Eyvind Kang, electric guitarist Jonathan Goldberger, bassist Rene Hart and drummer Jerome Jennings.

According to JazzTimes critic Carlo Wolff, “There’s something animistic about Manning’s work…Her music – original and brave – shows Manning knows where the wild things are. That’s because she’s one herself.” Much of the work on Harmonious Creature was written in the company of owl, coyote, bear, porcupine and salamander while Manning was an October 2012 Fellow in Composition at the MacDowell Colony. She worked in a studio in the New Hampshire woods Aaron Copland occupied in 1956, inspiring the composition “Copland on Cornelia Street” which imagines the American orchestral composer checking out the after hours New York City improvised music scene.

Manning has released four albums as a leader. Harmonious Creature is her second for Posi-Tone Records, the follow up to 2010’s Dandelion Clock, which was number one on Carlo Wolff’s top-ten list for JazzTimes and landed her third place in the 2010 JazzTimes Reader’s Poll in the category of Best New Artist. Dandelion Clock was an early June top-ten pick for 2010 by NPR’s A Blog Supreme. In 2011, Manning led her quartet at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival in support of the material on the album.

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”Not only is Sarah Manning a fearless and intense player, she’s a fearless and intense composer...Restless, irrepressible, unafraid and unfailingly terse, much of what she does here is transcendent.” - Lucid Culture, on Dandelion Clock

”With Two Rooms Same Door, Sarah Manning’s second CD, the young Bay Area saxophonist announces her arrival as a unique voice in a generation often derided for a lack of individuality. Manning sounds like nobody else, in her distinctive alto tone or in her intriguing compositional style.” — Forrest Dylan Bryant,

”Sarah Manning can swing as naturally as she breathes—an enlivening presence in the new generation of jazz makers” —Nat Hentoff, liner notes for HOUSE ON EDDY STREET

”After more than 40 years of both performing and presenting jazz, it's very unusual and a genuine treat to hear music that's truly unique

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


Available for private instruction in studio or via Skype. Sarah Manning has a wide variety of experience with students of all ages. She has taught as an adjunct private lessons instructor at Smith College, at Berkeley California's Jazzschool Summer Youth Music Program, the Jazzschool Course "Improvising Eighth Note Lines" for adults, Composition and Performance at Excel at Amherst College, and as a music instructor (sax, clarinet, trombone, trumpet) in the South Hadley Public Schools

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Harmonious Creatures

Posi-Tone Records


Harmonious Creature

Posi-Tone Records


Dandelion Clock

Posi-Tone Records


House On Eddy Street

Elflion Records




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