Composer and multi–instrumentalist Jesse Manno was born into a performing arts family in New York City in 1966 and grew up in New York and Colorado. He received his first commission in 1982 and has since created over eighty original scores for dance, theatre, film and multimedia productions, including twenty evening–length pieces. His work has been supported by Meet The Composer, Inc. (a division of the NEA), KRMA Denver PBS TV, The National Guild of Organists, Montgomery Watson Inc., Bates Dance Festival, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, among others, and has been presented all across the USA, as well as in Holland, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia.
Jesse received a B.A. in Asian Studies from The University of Colorado at Boulder, where he has been music director of the C.U. dance department since 1991. In 2002 he became a part–time instructor, teaching one music course per semester. He loves working with many instruments and genres of music, and often incorporates interesting sound environments he has recorded during his travels into his work. He also composes and performs with The Buzz Band (new music on ancient instruments with a characteristic buzzing sound), and more often with Şherefé Balkan/Middle Eastern Ensemble, performing regularly in Colorado, California, and New Mexico.
Recent projects include a stint at BAM Next Wave Festival in New York with David Dorfman Dance and composer Amy Denio, a percussive score created on a tower of used car parts for choreographer Gabriel Masson at the Bates Dance Festival, and a contemporary ballet soundtrack based on five of Colorado's native birds with Ballet Nouveau Colorado. He also recently created a new "underwater" section for David Taylor Dance Theatre's touring production “Rainforest.” Several Cds of his work are available: Sea Spirits, Music from Theater of the Vampires, Lazer Vaudeville, Rainforest, and others.