Growing up in Switzerland, keyboardist Greg Manning (www.greg-manning.com) recalls sitting in his living room with his parents, grooving along to their classic Earth, Wind & Fire albums. Now an emerging jazz performer, he is part of the musical legacy of the group's legendary founder Maurice White, who has signed Manning as the first artist on his newly re-launched Kalimba Music label (http://kalimba-music.com/).
Previously best known for his nine year stint as touring keyboardist and musical director for South African-born, Grammy-nominated jazz/gospel singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler, Manning broke out in a big way last year with his debut instrumental single "Dance With You."
The track, featuring one of the genre's most popular saxophonists, Mindi Abair, was an across the board airplay smash, reaching #1 on the taste-making chart, The Smooth Jazz Top 20 with Allen Kepler. Kepler is the host of the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown on The Smooth Jazz Network, which designated "Dance With You" as Song of the Year for 2013.
Manning recently finished mastering his label debut, Dance With You, for a July 8, 2014 release. In addition to Manning's previous hit singles "Dance With You" and "Groove Me" (featuring saxman Elan Trotman), the 11-track collection will include the newly released track "Cruisin' Down The Road," which features the chart-topping saxophonist Vincent Ingala.
A native of Zurich, Switzerland, the multi-talented keyboardist studied piano and film scoring at Berklee College of Music in Boston before returning to his home country to establish himself as a composer and producer. He made his debut in the U.S. as the keyboardist for Brian McKnight's "Back At One" tour, then toured extensively with Butler.
Over the years, Manning has also performed with many top names in the genre, including Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Richard Elliot, Eric Marienthal, Chante Moore and Kirk Whalum, among others. As a producer in the genre, he recently produced and mixed a project for Italian saxophonist Gianni Vancini, who returned the favor with an appearance on the keyboardist's new song "Phoenix Rise!"
Kalimba Music's first release is a re-mastered collector's edition of the Earth, Wind & Fire hit album The Promise.