A. D. MANNION (1940 – 2000)
A. D. Manion was born in New York City in 1940. He studied with Sam Ulano and gained practical experience working in the bands of Sonny Clarke, Curly Russel, Bill Dixon, Charles Mingus, Amad Abdul Malik, Red Callender, Pepper Adams, Booker Ervin, Tina Brooks and Cecil Taylor. A.D. also learned a lot from musicians in his neighborhood, which included people like drummers Billy Higgins and Elvin Jones.
He moved to Los Angeles in the '60's where he worked with Charlie Haden, Greg Dykes and Joe Pass, among others. He played with them as a part of the 'Sounds of Synanon' band. After moving to Austin, A.D. played in the groups lead by prominent jazz artists such as Joe Henderson, Chuck Mangione, Bobby Shew, Charlie Bird, Hank Crawford, Tony Campise, The Worthy Constituents, Countenance, JAMAD, and James Polk. Indeed there were few Austin musicians he did not play with. He also toured Japan in 1993 with Earl King.
As a drummer A.D. was without peer in many ways. He had the unusual ability to play very hard, while remaining and sounding completely relaxed. His timing was close to flawless, his playing with the brushes was magical and he laid a magnificent foundation for the band to play on.
A.D. and James Polk were the original founders of the Austin Jazz Workshop. Originally, this was envisioned as having two components.  bringing jazz to to the schools (an area where AJW shines now and  producing audio visual archives of Austin musicians through the years.
A.D. was extremely interested in creating a solid jazz community in Austin, cooperating on projects and even looking for a small concert style venue that performers could run. He believed in the tradition of sharing generously one's time and talents in both the music community as well, particularly when it came to charity work and inspiring kids with a love of music. A.D. Alsowished to continue the tradition of inter-generational mentoring that was so much a part of the jazz heritage he experienced growing up. There was no separating this from his deep and active faith.
The A.D. Mannion Award has been presented at St. James' Episcopal Church, during it's Jazz at St. James' concert since 2002. The award is given to a community musician or educator who embodies qualities associated with the late drummer for whom it is named:
•Commitment to faith,love and reconciliation through the God-given gift of music;
•Excellence, creativity and integrity in the offering of this gift;
•Celebration of and dedication to music as a unifying language;
•Generosity in contributing time, talent and spirit to the music community and the larger human family;
•Support, encouragement and mentoring of others’ gifts.
All Credits Arranger Drums Liner Notes Producer Unknown Contributor Role
Drums, Liner Notes
1995Blues, Mistletoe & Santa's Little Helper Drums 1995One More Night
1994Aren't We the Lucky Ones
1994Ballads, Blues, Bebop & Beyond
Drums, Unknown Contributor Role
1994Etched in Swing
1993Ballads, Blues & Bebop
1993Brand New Ways
Don McCalister, Jr.
1993Rhythm of the People
1993The Road to Home
Click below to view A.D.'s youtube performances:
Sonny Moon for Two (with Joe Pass, 1962)
The Song is You (same show and personnel as above)
The Tilt (Paul Glasse) on The Texas Connection C.1990-1991
Personnel: Paul Glasse, mandolin; Mitch Watkins, guitar; Gener Elders, fiddle; Bill Ginn, piano; Spencer Starnes, bass; A.D. Mannion, drums