When a boy named Manfred Sepse Lubowitz was born in Johannesburg in 1940, nobody had the slightest clue he would found the first South African Rock band, be a global superstar a few years later, and that his stunning career would last for decades.
South Africa was a racist state, which discriminated, oppressed and even murdered its Black majority. For a musician of Jewish origin, who was opposed to Apartheid, things were not easy either.
With a friend, he founded a band called The Vikings as early as 1959. In 1961, he moved to England, where he began writing for the ‘Jazz News’. The pseudonym he used was Manfred Mann, which sounded far more catchy than Manfred Sepse Lubowitz. He still uses that name today.
Mann is a true musician. In Johannesburg, and under his birth name, he had studied music at the University of the Witwatersrand, while hitting Jazz club stages, as a pianist, at night. Even as a Rock star the Jazz influence would stay with him all his life.
Constantly, Manfred Mann had bands, delivering “all that Jazz” and the Blues. With a group named after him, Manfred Mann, they scored several hits before the 1970-s started, including “Mighty Quinn”, a tune anyone older than 40 would know.
Mann disbanded the band in 1969, only to create a new one, which would play experimental Jazz-Rock tunes. He was one of the pioneers of this genre, along with Santana, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago and only a few other groups.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band was founded in 1971. It stands for huge hits such as “Blinded by the Light”, “Spirits in the Night” or “Davy’s on the Road Again”. Mann always had some other bands on the side, but Manfred Mann’s Earth Band has been the main product in the past 47 years.
This very band, with Manfred Mann himself, who is 77 right now, will perform on a total of ten stages in Germany this fall. On October 20th, 2018, he will be in Gera, on October 21st, his 78th birthday, he and his band will do an early 6 p.m. gig in Halle.