Van Manakas is a guitarist and composer, critically acclaimed by the musical press as one of the most versatile and respected guitarist in the country. Known for his expertise in indigenous guitar styles, he has tour with such artists as Gil Evans Orchstra, Paul Bley, Scott Cossu, Miraslav Vitous, The Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and Butch Baldassari across 5 continents. He has played on scores of recordings, from NYC to Nashville.
His recording with Rounder Records, Love Songs has received rave reviews as well as his American Guitar.
He is the recipient of an ASCAP award for his compositions. He has played guitar with Wayne Lopes since childhood.
"Van Manakas has something new and different to offer, unusually gripping instrumentals performed with exceptional grace and power by a very talented guitarist." – The New York Daily News
Wayne Lopes is a guitarist and composer who has been a presence on the NY music scene for decades. He has created the music for many art performances, dance pieces and plays and has performed with The Human Arts Ensemble, Judith Malina and Hanon Reznikov of The Living Theater, Nico, Ken Little Hawk , Andy 3 Raven of Brothers of the Wind, and Perry Robinson. He is a founding member of the Gift of Eagle Orchestra with Van Manakas and Sylvie Degiez.
"A brilliant finger picker, there's a 'down home' quality to Wayne's work. While his playing at first appears very free and abstract, closer listening reveals a familiar interplay of melodies and patterns. His music is also not without the element of surprise. It always reveals something unexpected amongst something familiar, something that will linger in the mind of anyone who listens." – American Primitive Guitar