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Ed Mann

Ed began playing piano and objects found in the kitchen at age 3, acquired a drum kit at age 11, played with rock, marching, orchestra, concert, pit and big band ensembles as a teen while studying at New England Music Camp and The Hartt Music School.

Ed entered the Hartt College of Music in 1972 to study with Al Lepak, where he learned and performed symphonic, jazz, experimental and 20th Century music. At Hartt, Ed met and formed an immediate bond with Tommy Mariano (aka Mars) and they formed the experimental-jazz band "World Consort" which played at arts venues throughout central New England.

In 1973 Ed moved to California to study with John Bergamo at California Institute of the Arts. At Cal Arts from 1973 -76, Ed immersed himself in experimental contemporary music as well as the music of Indonesia, Africa, North and South India and cross-culturally influenced improvisational new groove percussion ensembles. Under the direction of John Bergamo and with fellow percussionists Larry Stein, Gregg Johnson, Jimmy Hildebrandt, Lucky Mosko, Paul Anceau, Ed was a founding member of the ground-breaking cross-cultural indigenous percussion band, Repercussion Unit. By the age of 20, Ed had developed an interest in the vibes and marimba, and jazz improvisation. Being largely self 
taught, Ed also sought out lessons with significant influencing mallet teachers Dave Samuels, Emil Richards and Victor Feldman.

Basic mallet skills combined experience as a multi-percussionist; knowledge of intricate rhythms found in modern chamber music (as well as the classical music of India), and a lifetime history of playing rock and roll became the foundation that led to Ed's long association with Frank Zappa, which began in 1977. With Frank Zappa Ed performed and recorded as percussionist, synthesist, electronic sound designer, vocalist and programmer between 1977 and 1988 in electric band, small ensemble and orchestral environments.

Ed has also performed and/or recorded with Mark Isham, Rickie Lee Jones, Andy Summers, Kenny Loggins, Ambrosia,Tammy Wynette, Los Lobos, Blotto, John Cage, Bill Bruford, Shadowfax, Frogg Cafe, Wrong Object, The Grandmothers, London Symphony Orchestra, Don Ellis,  Repercussion Unit, Lou Harrison, Don Preston, Bruce Fowler, Steve Fowler, Rumdummies, ASANI, The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Bill Eddins, and a host of L.A. film composers including Jeff Rona, Hans Zimmer, Klaus Badelt, Harry Gregson Williams, CJ Vanston and others.

Ed's interest in ringing metal objects evolved over time to focused, solo use of gongs and found objects in the creation of resonant soundfields ..In the late 1989, Ed began bringing these sounds to Yoga Schools and alternative health practitioners, and in 1990 Ed began an association with European gong manufacturer Paiste  which lead to a 14 year association in which Ed functioned as recordist, product specialist and interface with the holistic community for Paiste America. In 2005, Ed began an official association with Italian Gong, bell and cymbal maker UFIP.

Ed's Gong and Resonance presentations have been well received by The National Association of Music Therapists, Don Campbell's Sound Schools, The Whole Life Expositions,The Wellness Center for Research and Education, Berkshire Museum, Abode of the Message, Ke Kumu at Mauna Lani, Barton's Crossing, Berkshire Medical Center, The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, the Noah Center, Southern Berkshire Community Center, Kripalu, Santa Monica Yoga, Yoga West and Santa Barbara Yoga and countless individual clients.

As an electronic Sound Designer Ed has created digital content libraries and programs for Wireless Developer, E-mu, Tell Me, Beatnik, FineCut. Productions, Creative, National Young Audiences, Paiste, and Frank Zappa. Perhaps most notable is Ed's creation of E-mu's critically acclaimed Planet Earth, Old Wold Instruments, World Expedition and Orchestral Virtuoso Percussion sound sets, as well as contributions to Composer, XL&7 Vintage Keyboards and Emulator X.

Ed has scored independent films for Finecut Productions, National Young Audiences, Midnite Chimes Productions, Knight Owl entertainment, and a host of one-off indie production companies. His music was also featured in the 1993 remake of The Wrong Man featuring Rosanna Arquette. In 2010 and 2011, Ed made the journey nothward to Edmonton, Alberta where brought music and sound making workshops to the inner city and reservation bound native people, immigrant populatuons and the homeless. 
Winner of top awards in Modern Drummer Magazine Reader's polls, Ed has released 6 critically acclaimed CDs of original music, composes music and sound for interactive media and film, and is active internationally as a performer, sound artist, consultant and workshop facilitator. He currently lives in Northen California USA.


The Grandmothers & The Yellow String Quartet feat. Ed Mann (US/DE)



In August of 2002, legendary former members of Frank Zappa's “The Mothers of Invention” were invited to perform the music of the MOTHERS OF INVENTION/FRANK ZAPPA at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany for a one time only performance.

It would be the first time that these esteemed "Mothers of Invention” alumni would be getting together to rehearse and perform classic Frank Zappa material.

On March 27th 2003, after 6 months of intensive rehearsals in Los(t) Angeles and Hamburg, they took the stage to a standing room only audience. The event was recorded, filmed, and released by Warner Classics in Europe, and has been broadcast repeatedly on European television via the ARTE channel. 

Due to overwhelming demand they have since performed more than 500 concert events where anything and everything can (and does) usually happen  across America, Austraila, Canada and Europe, including performances in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales

BUNK GARDNER (with the Mothers of Invention from 1966-1969) tenor sax, CASIO DH-100, flute, bar walking, straight man, food critique/commentary and vocals

DON PRESTON (with the Mothers from 1966-1974) piano, keyboard synthesizers, electronic wizardry, gongage, wigs, exploding devices, cycles adjuster, magic hands, Mr. MOTO, and vocals

CHRISTOPHER GARCIA drums, percussion, EAST LA (isms), invisible Mexican announcer, Art Laboe(isms), marimba, and vocals


"Then we hired Don Preston, who plays keyboard instruments - electric piano, electric clavichord, etc. We also hired Bunk Gardner who plays several various horns, and Jim Fielder on bass. I had known Don Preston and Bunk Gardner several years before I met the other guys. We used to play experimental music a long time ago. We got together in garages and went through some very abstract charts and just entertained ourselves. Anyway, we finally had a very workable ensemble. The second album was recorded with those eight guys. We just added a trumpet, string quartet and contrabass clarinet on one song." (FRANK ZAPPA interview 12/22/66)



Fried Dähn & The Yellow String Quartet meet The Grandmothers of Invention

The first team play happend in autumn 2014 at the ZappaUnion festival in Oslo, and from the very first moment it's been obvious that they got along well and all involved parties and the audience as well were thrilled.  When to the surprise of all Wolfhard Kutz appeared backstage that very same night and declared that he would like to take this project to Zappanale, it's been a done deal for the course of this cooperation.

A lot of new arrangements will be created for Zappanale, but the bands will present themselves as well solo in short sequences: The Yellow String Quartet will showcase G-Spot Tornado, Sofa, Uncle Meat and an absolute specialty: Live with the original Yellow-Shark- Walk-On Music, which formed the opening of the legendary show and where the musicians started to improvise on Frank's signal, a show that has never been published but for a TV documentation.

As cellist Fried Dähn was a member of Frank Zappa's latest project: The Yellow Shark with Ensemble Modern. After intensive rehearsals in Zappa's Home Studio and in Zappa's Studio Joe’s Garage in Los Angeles more practices followed one year later in Frankfurt as well as the performances of ‚The Yellow Shark’. Since adolescence Fried is a big Zappa fan and he is working in the most different areas of music: Classic and New Music, Rock, electronic and experimental music. As cellist he is represented on several sound carriers, he is art director of the Camp-Festival for Visual Music and is working as composer, from electrocello to orchestral works.

The Yellow String Quartet has been founded in the beginning of 2011 and consists of soloists of the Württembergische Philharmonie. Expeditiously the quartet established itself, caring for the traditional repertoire, but also for new music and popular styles. Especially the unusual combination of works from different eras, presented at the highest stage, is very inspiring.

Actual CD: ‚YSQ’ with works of Frank Zappa, Igor Strawinski, Erwin Schulhoff, Dmitri Schostakowitsch, Terry Riley and Joseph Haydn

Yellow String Quartet

Timo de Leo – Violin
Konrad Balik – Violin
Benjamin Hartung – Viola
Friedemann ‚Fried’ Dähn – Cello


The Paul Green Rock Academy feat. Ed Mann (US)

Paul Green is a musician, control freak, and founder of school of Rock and PGRA.

In 2009 Green sold the School of Rock to the parent company of the Sylvan Learning Center. He says he got “seven figures” for the School of Rock franchise, which today has more than 100 branches across the country.

That money may run out, but the passion that fueled him never died. So, determined to teach all he’d learned about music, and the business of it, he decided to open a college of rock: The Paul Green Rock Academy.


The Z3 feat. Ed Mann

Beau Sasser- hammond organs/ synthesizers/ vocals
Tim Palmieri- guitar/ vocals
Bill Carbone- drums/ vocals

Some music is sacred. Like Frank’s. But that doesn’t mean that it’s an ant in amber, frozen forever in its last performance. The Z3’s “Funky Takes on Frank” began as Tim, Beau and Bill’s way of playing the music they’ve obsessed over for years to the audiences that come to see them right now. With nothing but guitar, Hammond organ/keys, drums and three voices, The Z3 tackled everything from Freak Out to Broadway the Hard Way with a playful and adventurous spirit that has thus far tickled the fancies of both diehard FZ fans as well as those that “never knew they liked him.”

And then they met Ed Mann.

Ed played mallet instruments, percussion, sang and did a mean Bob Dylan impersonation in the Frank Zappa band from 1977-88, in addition to his many solo albums and other collaborations. He first jammed with the Z3 on a single gig in January 2013, then again about 8 months later. After he accompanied the band on a blizzard-laden four-show run in December 2013 both parties agreed that the collaboration was much deeper than a “special guest” situation. So Ed Mann joined the band. Now he keeps the Z3 young and hip with his table full of mallet instruments, iPads, Kaos pads and various other electro-acoustic devices.

Organist Beau Sasser and drummer Bill Carbone discovered a shared passion for Frank Zappa while touring together in the band of guitarist Melvin Sparks. They daydreamed of a trio in the organ-funk style that performed nothing but Zappa, but who would complete the triumvirate and serve as the missing-link to bridge the two genres was a mystery. When guitarist/vocalist Tim Palmieri, a diehard Zappa fan, ended up on a string of regular Wednesday night funk gigs with The Beau Sasser Trio in November 2011, the Z3 was born. The three musicians knew each other from years working in the Northeast music scene, their chemistry was undeniable, and the transition from pickup band to the Z3 was as smooth as passage of quintuplets in 9/8.

The Z3 was created for fun, and that’s probably why audiences find it so enjoyable.  The initial run of Z3 shows in Northampton, MA were jammed with fans of the individual musicians and of FZ, and, as the band worked toward engaging both the FZ material and the audience, the temperature has risen. The Z3 has since rocked the Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC, peppered the summer festival circuit with their Funky Takes on Frank, and delivered a legendary 3+ hour set at the Zappanale 24 festival in Bad Doberon, Germany.  Give thanks for Frank!

The Z3 is:

Tim Palmieri (

Tim Palmieri is one of the most impressive guitarists on the national music scene today. Playing with his bands Kung Fu and The Breakfast alongside artists such as moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Tea Leaf Green, and Phish’s Mike Gordon, the New Haven native has amassed a loyal following of obsessive fans who keep tabs on just about every note.

While prominent in the jam scene for his aggressive and improvisational guitar style, Palmieri has grown equally comfortable behind an acoustic guitar and tours tirelessly as a solo performer. His acoustic showcases are peppered with a mix of thoughtful originals, classic covers and unexpected rarities, each of which he makes his own through a distinctive style of rhythmic looping.

At the same time, Palmieri refuses to get too comfortable as a performer and thrives on challenging himself in new ways. He has covered the entire Beatles catalogue in alphabetical order and knows a shocking number of FZ tunes among so many others. His current main project, Kung Fu, has been hailed as a modern super group.

Beau Sasser (

Beau Sasser hit the music scene at a young age, traversing the snowy highways of Colorado for both All-State high school band gigs and shows with legends like John Denver and Jimmy Ibbotson of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In the mid-90s Sasser headed east for a stint at Berklee College of Music and soon found himself back on the highways with the successful jamband Uncle Sammy.

Around the year 2000 Sasser began performing almost exclusively on the Hammond Organ. In addition to his tenure as Melvin Sparks' preferred organist Sasser leads his own trio whose residency at Bishop's Lounge in Northampton, MA is now in its fifth year, performed for several years in the trio of Soulive’s Alan Evans, and freelances like crazy.

Touring throughout the United States and internationally, Beau has performed with with Maceo Parker (James Brown), Warren Haynes(Allman Brothers), Alan Evans (Soulive), Nikki Glaspie (Beyonce), Michael Feingold (Erykah Badu), Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa) and jazz greats Fareed Haque and Melvin Sparks.

Bill Carbone (

Born in the suburban cultural vacuum of CT, drummer Bill Carbone managed to graduate from his initial fascination with the dramatic plinkings of Rush and Yes to a broader palette of loves. Recently he’s played jazz and boogaloo with guitarist Melvin Sparks, funk with organist Beau Sasser's trio, jam-rock with Max Creek and Zach Deputy, original quirky jazz-type music with the sax 4tet plus bass and drums Dead Cat Bounce, and reggae and experimental dub music with his own group Buru Style and various vocalists such as Makengo (Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars), Ajahni, Toussaint Liberator, Shasha Marley and others. As a percussionist he's tickled the Billboard charts with ROIR recording artists 10 ft Ganja Plant, graced several John Brown’s Body tracks and also recorded with the founding members of Jamaica's legendary Soul Syndicate Band.

Carbone is currently a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, where he also teaches drums and steel pan while pecking away at a dissertation about gender and the Hammond Organ soul-jazz scene of the 1960s-70s. His writing has been featured in Wax Poetics, Modern Drummer, and in his bi-weekly New Haven Advocate column. He also teaches courses in ethnomusicology and world music at Central Connecticut State University.

Ed Mann 
Award-winning mallet player/percussionist Ed Mann began his international professional career in 1977 when he joined Frank Zappa's band as percussionist, synthesist and background vocalist. Said to be the single-most recorded musician in the Zappa catalog, Ed performed and recorded with Zappa in electric and symphonic settings which are documented on over 35 albums from the 1977 release "Live in New York" through Zappa's last electric band project in 1988. During his tenure with FZ, Ed took on additional responsibilities of rehearsal director, keyboardist and electric sound designer, the latter function yielding technologically ground breaking digital music performance systems and the uniquely expressive sound set of sampled human vocalizations which characterize the social setting of Zappa's final electric band tour in 1988, as heard on the albums "Broadway The Hard Way", "Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life" and "Make A Jazz Noise Here".

Having released 5 critically acclaimed albums of original music, Ed has also performed and recorded with luminaries such as Don Ellis, Mark Isham, Shadowfax, Tavares, Hans Zimmer, Richie Lee Jones, Kenny Loggins, Don Preston, Bruce Fowler, Repercussion Unit, Andy Summers, Michael McDonald, Sting, Los Lobos, John Cage, Bill Eddins, the London Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony among many others and has taught and facilitated educational programs throughout the USA and Canada.


Zappanale #31

15. - 17.07.2022
The Torture stops in 300 days!