Ed Mann is a lifelong percussionist, vibraphonist and mallet player, composer/electronic sound designer, educator and sound artist. Ed currently resides in Western Massachussetts and is active internationally as a performer, teacher, sounds consultant and gongs sound workshop facilitator.
Ed Mann began playing piano and kitchenware by ear at age 3, acquired a drum kit at age 11, played with rock, marching, orchestra, concert, pit and big band ensembles as a teen, and studied at New England Music Camp and The Hartt School Of Music.
Ed Mann entered the Hartt College of Music in 1972 where he performed symphonic, jazz, experimental and 20th Century music for a year. Pushing the experimental edge, Ed's insightful teacher (the legendary) Mr. Al Lepak suggested that he may do well to study under (the legendary) John Bergamo at California Institute of the Arts. Between his time at the Hartt College and before leaving for California, Ed and his new friend (the now legendary) Tommy Mariano (aka Mars) toured their new-jazz band "World Consort" throughout W. Hartford and Southwestern MA.
At Cal Arts from 1973 -76, Ed immersed himself in experimental contemporary American music as well as the music of Indonesia, Africa, North and South India and myriad cross-culturally influenced improvisational and experimental jazz and groove/free music projects. Most notably, out of this work with fellow percussionists Larry Stein, Gregg Johnson, Jimmy Hildebrandt, Lucky Mosko, Paul Anceau and Charles Levin and under the spiritual guidance of John Bergamo, came the ground-breaking cross-cultural indigenous percussion band, Repercussion Unit.
In additional to a heavy focus in new-music percussion ensemble work, Ed Mann also studied the Mridangam (primary drum for South Indian Karnatic music) and Solkattu under master drummer T. Ranganathan. Developing an interest in mallet playing and improvisation, Ed is largely self taught, with the help of Al Lepak, John Bergamo, Dave Samuels and Emil Richards. It is this foundation in polyrhythmic drumming plus multi-percussion and mallet playing with improvisation that allowed Ed Mann to transition into the percussion position in Frank Zappa's band in 1977.
With Frank Zappa Ed performed and recorded as percussionist, synthesist, electronic sound designer, vocalist and programmer for various periods of time between 1977 and 1988 in electric band, small ensemble and orchestral environments. Ed is said to be the most recorded musician in Zappa's catalog.
Ed Mann has also performed and/or recorded with Mark Isham, Rickie Lee Jones, Andy Summers, Kenny Loggins, Ambrosia, Tammy Wynette, Los Lobos, Blotto, John Cage, Bill Bruford, Shadowfax, Frogg Cafe, Wrong Object, Project Object, The Grandmothers, London Symphony Orchestra, Don Ellis, Repercussion Unit, Lou Harrison, Don Preston, Bruce Fowler, Rumdummies and a host of L.A. film composers including Jeff Rona, Hans Zimmer, Klaus Badelt, Harry Gregson Williams, CJ Vanston and others.
Ed's interest in the resonance of ringing metal objects evolved from cymbal playing to the use of gongs and found objects. Gradually bringing these sounds to Yoga Schools and alternative health practitioners, in 1988 Ed began an association with European gong manufacturer Paiste which lead to a 12 year association from 1992 - 2004, in which Ed Mann functioned as audio archiver, product specialist and interface with the holistic community for Paiste America. In 2005, Ed began an official association with Italian Gong, bell and cymbal maker Ufip.
Ed Mann's Gong and Resonance presentations have been well received by The National Association of Music Therapists, Don Campbell's Sound Schools, The Whole Life Expositions,The Wellness Center for Research and Education, Berkshire Museum, Abode of the Message, Ke Kumu at Mauna Lani, Barton's Crossing, Berkshire Medical Center, The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, the Noah Center, Southern Berkshire Community Center, Kripalu, Santa Monica Yoga, Yoga West and Santa Barbara Yoga and countless individual clients.
As a Sound Designer Ed has created digital content libraries and programs for Wireless Developer, E-mu, Tell Me, Beatnik, FineCut Productions, Creative, National Young Audiences, Paiste, and Frank Zappa. Perhaps most notable is Ed's creation of E-mu's critically acclaimed Planet Earth, Old Wold Instruments, World Expedition and Orchestral Virtuoso Percussion sound sets, as well as contributions to Composer, XL&7 Vintage Keyboards and Emulator X.
Ed has scored independent films for Finecut Productions, National Young Audiences, Midnite Chimes Productions, Knight Owl entertainment, and a host of one-off indie production companies. His music was also featured in the 1993 remake of The Wrong Man featuring Rosanna Arquette.
Winner of top awards in Modern Drummer Magazine Reader's polls, Ed has released 5 critically acclaimed cds of original music, composes music and sound for interactive media and film, and is active internationally as a performer, sound artist, consultant and workshop facilitator. He currently lives in Western MA and performs regularly with his band Dub Jazz Unit, incorporating a cross-pollination of musical influences from around the world.