June 11, 1926-Oct. 30, 2006
Manny Duran (Manuel Sanchez Duran), trumpet and flugelhorn player, made his transition after complications from a recent procedure at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Born in Alamagordo, N.M., Manny began his life-long love affair with the trumpet at the age of 10, playing in Mariachi Bands of the Southwest. Not long after, Manny heard Louis Armstrong's music and found his true calling: Jazz. Manny played music on the West Coast before moving to the Big Apple in 1956 and for a year sat in with the most prestigious combos performing at the legendary Cafe Bohemia. By the '60s, Manny was in the improvising chair for top Latin Jazz bands beginning with Puerto Rican musical giant, Noro Morales. Thereafter, he traveled throughout the US and Europe working and recording with Ray Barretto, Willie Bobo, Mario Bauza and the Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Mongo Santamaria, The Conjunto 66 of Vladimir Vasilieff and for almost a decade with Machito. Manny never lost his love for the music of Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro and Kenny Dorham. In the '80s, he formed a straight-ahead bebop band with singer, Carla White, becoming a fixture on the New York jazz scene. They recorded an album,"Andruline," before the band dissolved. Manny continued on as leader of his own bands, The Manny Duran Latin and Jazz Band and Manny Duran and The Afro-Bops,in both bebop and latin idioms, hosting the late night jam sessions and doing Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Blue Note in the West Village for many years. Through the ‘90s until recently, Manny led the Saturday night jam session at Cleopatra's Needle on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and was featured regularly on Tuesday nights at BB King's in Times Square with The Afro-Bops while continuing to record (his cd: "Play so Pretty") and work around town. Manny will be remembered not only for his peerless skill as a melodic improviser, but also for his charisma, generosity of spirit, love for life and music. He will be deeply missed by family, friends and by the musicians whose lives he has touched and influenced over the years. Manny is survived by three brothers; one sister; and a daughter. There will be a memorial service celebrating his life. The date will be announced. To write a tribute to Manny Duran visit www.legacy.com
Published in Clovis News Journal and the Portales News-Tribune from Nov. 6 to Nov. 7, 2006.