Who Was That Sideman? 5 Okayplayer Anthems You Didn’t Know Were Driven By Dave Manley’s Guitar

The life of a session player is generally one of unsung heroism. In rare moments, great session players have risen to the status of household names–think of Booker T & The MGs, The Funk Brothers, The Wrecking Crew and, yes, Toto–but for every hired gun that hits it big there’s a legion of players who happily grind out a living far away from the spotlight’s bright embrace, laying the foundations that make marquee artists’ careers possible.

One of the most prolific, humble and talented session players of the last two decades isDave Manley, a versatile guitarist who played a crucial role in the neo-soul movement of the late 1990s. Manley cut his chops at The New School before eventually making it to Philadelphia in time to play at jam sessions with the likes of Jill Scott, Raheem DeVaughn, Musiq Soulchild and Bilal. But even before those connections were made, the  young guitarist was bumping into another rising group of players. Read More


Philadelphia-based Guitarist/Composer/producer/educator Dave Manley has worked with major artists ranging from neo-soul, world, and Jazz. Touring and Recording with artists Such as: Dj Jazzy Jeff, Jill Scott, Music SoulChild, Jeff Bradshaw, Carrol Riddick, Herbie Hancock, Raheem Devaughn, Chiwoniso Maraire, Kindred The Family Soul, Dave Chappelle among many others. Dave co-wrote the song “Still Here” on Jill Scott’s Words and Sounds Vol. One, released in August of 2004, was featued in Jill Scott’s “Live In Paris” DVD as well as performing in Dave Chappelle’s “Block Party” Movie. Dave has also performed on “The View” “Ellen”, “The Tonight Show”, “Jimmy Kimmel” “The Tavis Smiley Show”, The Today Show Philadelphia and New York. Read More