MICHAEL KISSINGER - CONDUCTOR / CLARINETIST / COMPOSER

Biography: Dr. Maria Manzo

Pianist and Conductor Dr. Maria Manzo is co-founder and Music Director of Bravo! Northwest.  Bravo! produces the Bravo! Vancouver Concert Series, the Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival and the Music at The Madeleine Concert Series.  She is the Founding Conductor of the Bravo! Northwest Chorale.  Under her direction, the Chorale has performed with acclaimed artists including                                                                               drummer Dan Brubeck, Melissa Manchester, The Brubeck Brothers Quartet, the Dubrovnik                                                                         Symphony Orchestra (DSO), and others. 

                                                                   She led the Bravo! Chorale and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Jazz Orchestra in                                                                                   concerts at the 25th Annual National Pastoral Musician’s Conference in Washington D.C., and                                                                     in concerts at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City.  She led the Bravo! Chorale                                                                         and DSO on a concert tour in Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Dr. Manzo led the Bravo!                                                                             Chorale, the Sno-King Choral, and the DSO in their Pacific Northwest concert tour which                                                                               featured American and Croatian choral music with concerts in Portland, Vancouver, Olympia,                                                                     Edmonds, and Seattle.  The Bravo! Chorale released the CD recording Hear My Prayer: The                                                                           American Spiritual under her direction.  It features classic & contemporary American                                                                                     Spirituals, including those of Jester Hairston, Moses Hogan, William Dawson, and others.

Dr. Manzo is currently Director of Music at The Madeleine Church in Portland, Oregon.  She directs all aspects of the Music Program, arranges and writes music for liturgical services, and performs as Pianist and Organist.  Dr. Manzo also teaches School Choirs at the Madeleine School.  She recently produced the CD The Madeleine Sings Christmas.  From 1993-2014 she was Director of Music at St. Joseph Church in Vancouver, Washington, where she directed the Parish Choir, Children’s Choir, Youth Choir, Cantor Ensemble, Women’s Schola, Men’s Ensemble, and Bell Choir. 

She led the St. Joseph Choir to Italy with concerts in Rome, Florence, Venice, and Assisi; and
in the Northwest with concerts in Spokane, Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland.  Dr. Manzo produced
three CD‘s with the St. Joseph Parish Choir under her direction: Then Sings My Soul;
Hallelujah! A St. Joseph Christmas; and Songs in the Key of Faith.

Dr. Manzo is recognized for her research and scholarship on the American Negro Spiritual, and
is an authority on the music of the American choral composer and arranger Jester Hairston –
composer of Amen and other well-known Spirituals.  An experienced Music Educator,
Dr. Manzo taught Choral Music in the Spokane School District (Spokane, WA) and was Assistant
Professor of Choral Music at North Carolina Wesleyan College.  She maintains an active private
studio of piano and voice students ranging from Middle School students to adults.  Maria earned her B.A. and Master of Music degrees from Eastern Washington University and her Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado. 

 She has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe as a pianist.  Her “Top 10” list of performances includes concerts on the Bravo! Concert Series, the Beethoven Triple Concerto and Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, and concerts with the Brubeck Brothers Jazz Quartet at the Dubrovnik Jazz Festival in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
(TOP PHOTO: Maria Manzo and the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Dubrovnik Jazz Festival)