Michael Manasseh is a drummer, percussionist, and pianist based in both the NYC and Boston area. He is a recent graduate of Columbia University where he studied Economics and Mathematics. He has been heavily involved in the Columbia music scene, playing in multiple pit orchestras as well as jazz combos through the Columbia Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program.
Michael began learning drums at the age of five, quickly exposing himself to a multitude of styles and traditions. His early teachers included John Horrigan, Jerry Leake (NEC & Berklee), Tiger Bill, and John Funkhouser (fmr. Berklee). He attended The Rivers School in Weston, MA where he participated in the big band and small combos under the direction of Philippe Crettien. Throughout high school, he had the opportunity to participate in many prestigious jazz camps: The NEC Jazz Lab, The Berklee Five-Week Jazz Workshop under the direction of Rick DiMuzio and Terri Lyne Carrington, and the Vail Jazz Workshop under the direction of John Clayton and other faculty members such as Lewis Nash, Jeff Clayton, and Terrell Stafford. During this time his private teachers included John Ramsay, the former percussion chair at Berklee, and Bob Gulotti who was also faculty at Berklee.
Michael’s love for the theatre also began at Rivers, where he played in the pit orchestra for three productions: Cinderella (2016), Children of Eden (2017), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (2018). He continued his involvement in the theatre at Columbia, playing in many productions for the Columbia Musical Theatre Society including Pippin (2019), The Theory of Relativity (2020, virtual), In The Heights (2022), Matilda (2023, abridged score), and Head over Heels (2023). He also played in the pit for Barnard Theatre’s 2022 production of Fun Home, as well as two editions of The Varsity Show (2020 virtually and 2023), Columbia’s annual student written and composed musical. Michael was most recently at the New London Barn Playhouse in New London, NH, for two of their summer stock productions: Beautiful and The Wedding Singer.
Michael counts Art Blakey, Tony Williams, Steve Jordan, Mark Giuliana, Steve Gadd, and Brian Blade as some his biggest drumming influences. When he’s not drumming, Michael is probably either drinking coffee, cooking food, attempting to play golf, or cheering Boston sports teams.
- NYC/Tri-State Area
- Boston/New England
Interested in touring?
- Music Assistant
- Music Copyist
- Music Transcriber
- Pit Musician (Other)
My Primary Instrument