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John Richard "Jack" Manno

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John Richard "Jack" Manno Obituary
John Richard "Jack" Manno

The beloved musician Jack Manno was born on October 3, 1939, in Darby, PA to John B. Manno and Isabel Sgarro Manno. His two younger brothers, Robert and Norman, also became professional musicians. He went to Havertown High School and Penn State, graduating in 1961 with a degree in speech and radio. He met his wife, Sarah Hanson Manno, while performing together at Surflight Summer Theater in Beach Haven, NJ. He then worked as a singer on the Perry Como show until he was drafted into the army and, newly married, served in The US Army Chorus. Next came seven years in New York, working in recording and television as a group singer/vocal arranger. He did TV shows with Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, Woody Allen, Lena Horne, on Sesame Street, and much more. He co-directed the Lang-Manno Singers, which did a stint at Radio City Music Hall. During that time sons Jesse John Manno and Luke Hanson Manno were born. After a two year retreat upstate NY, he spent a year as Visiting Professor of Jazz Studies at The University of Tulsa before moving to Fort Collins in 1975. He co-founded High Plains Arts Center and its Cafe Orpheus, a performing Arts Cafe in Old Town. Also he directed jazz choirs and ensembles at CSU and played jazz piano with Cross Current, Menage a Trois, and as a soloist. He was active as a composer, worked with theater and dance productions and had many private students. After separating with Sarah, he moved to New Mexico in 1987 where he sang with and did arrangements for the Desert Chorale, taught at UNM, worked with The Bill Evans Dance Company, and founded/directed the Southwest Jazz Orchestra among many other gigs. He was married to Lois Lyles Manno from 2005 to 2013, after which he retired to Fort Collins. In addition to all kinds of music, he loved golfing, hiking, caving, sculpting with scrap metal, left wing politics, and his grandkids Kyla, Eleni, and Nico. Late summer 2015, spinal cancer dramatically curtailed his robust condition, then pneumonia suddenly ended his life on October 28, 2015. All are invited to a memorial celebration at Bas Bleu Theatre, 401 Pine Street, Fort Collins, at 2 pm, Sunday, January 10th.

Published in The Coloradoan from Jan. 3 to Jan. 6, 2016
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