Jay Mankita "...one of the half dozen best songwriters today!" -Pete Seeger
Jay Mankita is a masterful acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter, whose styles range from blues, bluegrass, and ballads, through ragtime, swing, and samba, and from old standards to quirky originals. His songs guide us on an authentic journey through the human condition, with honesty and compassion, and a healthy dose of humorous insight. Jay's concerts are intimate and hopeful, always thought provoking, irreverently funny, and musically refreshing.
"Jay's songs are thoughtful, humorous, provocative, and engaging. He reveals a great deal of feeling for serious issues, seasons them with a bit of humor, and weaves his own unique style of guitar playing throughout. Treat your audience to some Jay Mankita!" -Kate Patton, Director, Globe Theater
Jay has been playing guitar, composing, and performing his original songs for 25 years. During this time, he's also been an actor, photographer, environmental activist, swing dancer, children's performer, playwright, and occasional world traveler. He is currently studying the music, language, and culture of Brazil, and is planning to tour the country next year in a bio-diesel van.
Jay says songwriting is the interface between what he's learned of the world, and the mysteries of the spirit. It's a balancing act, and he likens it to having one foot marching for social justice, and one foot dancing in heaven, all the while trying to keep from putting either one of those feet in his mouth! Even so, songwriting is the best way he has found to help teach himself how to live, although he admits he's a terrible student.
"He's a musical pied piper; quick, nimble, and wonderfully crazyähe alternates complexity, simplicity, and hilarity, leading us to the most beautifully obvious conclusion; that we're all human, we're all in this together, and it's not so bad after all."
-Margie Rosenkrantz, Director, The Eighth Step Jay Mankita
"The blending, in fact, is what makes Mankita such an outstanding performer . . . Even within individual verses of the same song, Mankita will shift his voice from a Brombergian growl to a soft and mellow falsetto; pull his tempo from allegretto to a dramatic legato; from Windham Hillian wallpaper background to a snapping fret-slapping blues style. With his assortment of styles and voices, you never find your mind wandering."
-Jeremy Bloom, Schenectady Daily Gazette
"Jay Mankita jumps up and down with a big grin on his face, playing incredible guitar, getting everyone laughing. Moments later, he's doing a dead serious song with no accompaniment. Come hear this guy, I think he's one of the half dozen best songwriters today."
Jay Mankita's Official Website: