Biography

Munch Manship, jazz saxophonistMunch Manship was born in the North East.  An early interest in the saxophone led to lessons with the late great saxophonist Ronnie Aspery and by the age of nineteen he was working as a professional musician with local bands.

At the age of twenty he joined the Eric Delaney Band and toured the UK and Europe extensively. He then secured a long term engagement for the Mecca Ballroom circuit. After working in London in the early 1970s he made Manchester his base. It was in Manchester in 1973 that he met a New York trumpeter called Paul Griffin, which led to the emergence of a 10 piece band called Force Ten. This band performed original material which was a hybrid of Blood Sweat & Tears/Chicago/Tower of Power. Force Ten recorded for Decca Records.

In the mid seventies he had a residency with the First House Group, which was a group of nightclubs based in the Manchester area. The most famous among them being Blightys, which had American artists performing at the club from time to time. It was here as a member of the house band that he had the most memorable experience of listening to and meeting such great jazz artists as: Thelonius Sphere Monk, Oscar Peterson Trio, Stan Kenton Big Band, Cannonball Adderley Quintet.

Throughout the 80s he toured UK and Europe with Johnny Mathis, Lou Rawls, the Four Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Jack Jones, Shirley Bassey, Roy Orbison, Buddy Greco, Frankie Lane and a host of other artists.

He was also a regular deputy with the BBC Northern Radio Orchestra at the Playhouse Theatre in Hulme Manchester.

Other orchestral and TV credits include working with Ronnie Hazlehurst, Alyn Ainsworth, Sir Charles Groves, BBC Radio Big Band, Granada TV Orchestra (which was under the direction of Derek Hilton for many years and which accompanied the BAFTA awards based in Manchester), Liverpool Philharmonic and the Halle Orchestra.

He has worked extensively in musical theatre both in Manchester and in London. His most recent shows being Spamalot UK Tour, White Christmas at the Dominion Theatre in the West End and also at the Lowry. Other musical theatre credits include Follies, Broadway tour of West Side Story, Merrily We Roll Along, Cats, Company, Phantom of the Opera, Me and My Girl and numerous other shows.

Munch is firmly established as a sought after soloist in jazz clubs around the country, both as a guest soloist and fronting his own bands. He has played alongside many international stars such as Ronnie Scott, Bobby Shew, Dusko Goykavitch (Kenny Clarke Francy Boland Big Band), Buddy Miles (Count Basie drummer), John La Barbera, Victor Mendoza, Jim Bruno, Jim Mullen, Don Weller, John Etheridge, Kenny Baker, Don Rendel, Humphrey Littleton, Jimmy Deuchar and Gordon Goodwin Big Band. He was also in the support band, which played alongside Art Pepper at the Hammersmith and Fulham Jazz festival.

He is also involved in jazz education and gives private lessons for saxophone, flute, clarinet and jazz harmony.

Currently he runs his own Quartet and Octet.

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