Jeremy Manjorin
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Jeremy Manjorin

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Local Jefferson musician keeps the dream alive with new CD
Thursday, August 25, 2011

BY JOHN R. LUCIANO
CORRESPONDENT
Aim Jefferson

Jeremy Manjorin said he has been singing his whole life. In middle school he picked up a guitar and learned how to play, and in high school and college he played in some cover bands. However, it wasn't until a friend produced an original CD back in 2001 that he felt he could do the same, and committed himself to his music. The result, his first CD, "Jigsaw," was released in 2003, and this past July he released his second, self-produced CD, "Two Sigma Blues."

Jeremy Manjorin strums his guitar in the yard of his Jefferson Township. The musician released his second CD, 'Two Sigma Blues,' this July. He describes his style as 'eclectic,' and his songs encompass rock, jazz, hard core and other styles. "I am not doing this for the money," Manjorin confessed. "I'm doing this because I love writing and performing music, and I just want to be able to say, 'Hey, I made this.'"

Manjorin's music has been well-received and garnered positive reviews, but he said he has no delusions about the odds of making it big. Even so, one of his songs was recently pitched to two cable TV shows, he has gotten some good Internet play, and two of his new tracks have been selected for an upcoming "Crucial Music" industry compilation. Wistfully he admits that all it takes is one good break these days.

Manjorin, 37, has lived in Jefferson Township for about three years. He was fortunate enough to marry into a local family, the Ecksteins, known for their musical talents and teaching abilities. His wife's late father was a Jefferson Township resident for 37 years, and a teacher at Morris Knolls High School in Rockaway for 32. Last year, the school dedicated its auditorium to him. Richard Eckstein's wife Marilyn is a lifelong Jefferson resident. Her two daughters, Manjorin's wife Amanda and Kim Eckstein-Hooey, are teachers, and Kim is also a musician. Manjorin has two brothers-in-law, Ray a teacher in Florida, and Tim who lives in Oregon.

Manjorin met his wife, Amanda, about four years ago, and she has completely indoctrinated him into Jefferson Township. He said he knows it even better than Middletown, N.J., the shore community he grew up in. They recently had their first child, Sofia, who is now seven months old.

"We've taken Sofia to my live shows, and it's great to watch her recognize daddy's voice and look for me," Manjorin said.

Manjorin said his family has been hugely supportive of his music career. His sister-in-law has helped with his recordings, and his wife has even written lyrics for one of his songs. Having married into a musical family was a huge boost for him, and he is obviously grateful for their help.

"My wife is ridiculously supportive of my music," he said. "She tells me to just go and do what you need to do."

The singer/musician/songwriter writes his own songs, and he records the first versions in a makeshift recording studio at home. Manjorin is a singer first, and he said he learned the guitar to basically help him write the songs. He has learned it well, judging by the positive response his music has received. His live shows at local venues are often packed with listeners, and he has gotten positive reviews from such critics as Tris McCall of the Star-Ledger and Sarah Lynch of the Daily Record.

Once Manjorin works out the songs and records a decent demo, he goes to a professional recording studio to record the final vocals and do the final editing. The CDs are self-published, and he promotes them online and at his live shows. He works with online promotion companies such as CD Baby to get his songs listed on iTunes, Amazon.com and other servers. He works hard to promote word-of-mouth sales, too.

When his first CD was released in 2003, Manjorin said he made the mistake of over saturating the market. Although the CD sold well for a self-produced piece, he ran himself ragged doing as many live shows as he could. With his second CD, he wants to build off the positive reviews and give it time to sell both online and during his shows. He realized that the Internet has changed the way the music business operates, both for bad and good.

"If I get my songs on the right Internet servers, such as iTunes, my song can be heard and seen by people as far away as Australia, and that is a huge reach," he said.

On the other hand, Manjorin sees a lot of one-hit wonders, and said the Internet-based way of selling music does not help to build careers and cultivate musicians as much as in the past.

Manjorin was born in Manhattan, lived in Staten Island and moved to Middletown when he was nine. He grew up at the New Jersey shore, but has lived in many places throughout New Jersey. He has an 18-year old daughter from a previous relationship named Kayla who lives in Red Bank. His early musical influences started when his older brother introduced him to the band Rush. His parents, who he described affectionately as "hippies," introduced him to 1960s groups such as Simon & Garfunkel and Neil Young. He is a huge Led Zeppelin fan and wanted to be Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin's lead singer) when he was younger.

As far as his own music, Manjorin wears the label of "eclectic" as a badge of honor. He encompasses a range of rock, hard rock, jazz and instrumental influences in his songs, and enjoys stretching himself with each work.

"I like to challenge myself," Manjorin said, and he works with a music teacher named Ronn Sacciero who pushes him to do just that, often with brutal honesty.

"Ronn tells me when it doesn't work, and he is frank about it." Manjorin said.

Manjorin is eclectic in his other career, too. A life-long writer and lover of literature, Manjorin graduated from St. Peter's College in Jersey City and holds a Masters Degree in English from Rutgers University. He enjoys teaching, too, but is also a self-avowed technological geek. This has led him to a career with his own consulting company for logistics software training. He has been working with Picatinny Arsenal for the last year. He has also published short stories and poems, and has written an unpublished novel.

Manjorin loves his music, though, and he enjoys playing at area venues such as The Side Bar at the Famished Frog in Morristown, and Rest Stop Rejuvenate, a small club in Rockaway. He will be playing at the Side Bar in September, as well as performing at Gizzi's Cafe in Greenwich Village, New York City, and other local clubs. He plans to spend the next year promoting his new CD and playing as many music fests as he can along the east coast from Boston to Washington, D.C.

"I am looking for places I can play but take my wife and daughter to, kind of make it a family weekend," Manjorin said. - NorthJersey.com


“Two Sigma Blues” is an unexpected treat from the Garden State hills: Jeremy Manjorin is a multi-instrumentalist from Lake Hopatcong with a resonant baritone and a taste for mildly psychedelic arrangements. He’s the sort of musician who doesn’t have to try too hard to make his recordings atmospheric — the mystic quality of his singing draws listeners into innerspace. On “Unfallen” and “ABE,” Manjorin conjures the sweet magic of David Sylvian’s solo discs: there’s a sensation of stepping into somebody’s hallucination. “Let me slip from the ladder of my life,” sings Manjorin on the excellent closer “Remembrance” before retreating into a dark and personal space populated by ghosts. Manjorin has a weakness for easy rhyme — he pairs lie with alibi, he tells a story of glory, and lines on his face are marks of disgrace. That’s a problem. But then there are the compensatory moments when the poetry pairs sweetly with the music, as in “Lost in the Sentiment,” in which he imagines his dreams condemned like a tenement. Manjorin will be playing shows around the Garden State to support “Two Sigma Blues” this summer; if this disc is any indication, he’ll back up his songs with strong guitar playing.

- Tris McCall - The Star Ledger/NJ.com


"The CD combines a variety of styles of guitar and musical influences. Manjorin wrote, recorded, and played all the parts on the CD except for the percussion. Critics deemed it "Bold," "Edgy," and "Melodic." - Montclair Times


" ...not your typical music. Bold, edgy & melodic. This CD offers a rare look into the mind of a real musician. " - - Pete Rizzo, MTV Studios


"I see thousands of artists come in my studio and I produce and engineer hundreds of CDs each year...but Jeremy's latest project stands out from the crowd. Two Sigma Blues is highly polished, eclectic, shows excellent vocal range, compositional skill, and displays his talents on numerous instruments. This is excellent music." - StudioMozart - Kostadin Kamcev, Sound Engineer and Producer


"I'm listening to some of your songs right now. You have a great voice, and great songs! They are unique in style, and that's a very good thing in today's cookie cutter industry. I'm impressed. I'm adding a link to your website on the "Our Friends" page of my Nubzilla Records website. Whenever I find talent I really believe in, I link them there." - Sheila Kirsten Hughes, Nubzilla Records


" Led Zep meets Rush meets Neil Young. Meet Jeremy Manjorin! "
- The Aquarian


"Psychedelic Duncan Sheik. A pleasure to the ears. " - Karen Rush - Fox News


"The songs were bold and melodic, with a powerful sense of purpose and a voice that all at once had an edge a la Robert Plant, and the comfort and control of Duncan Sheik." - The Montclarion


"The beauty of "jigsaw" is that in this nano-second attention-span world, Manjorin serves up something for everyone: Classic rock, blues, grunge and funk."
- Dean Balsamini, Staten Island Advance
- The Staten Island Advance


Upon listening to his debut
CD - jigsaw - music aficionados
are convinced that Jeremy
Manjorin joins an impressive
group of New Jersey-based
singer/songwriters
An 11-track CD that blends a
variety of musical styles and
lyrical topics into one unique
sounding album, jigsaw dances
between the beauty of a complex
arrangement with many
pieces forming a whole and the
beauty of a simple song, coming
straight from the heart.... - The Italian Tribune


"He [Jeremy] plays the guitar just like Eric Clapton and sings like Dave Matthews..." - The Daily Record


Discography

"jigsaw" (2003) - all tracks available on Last.fm
Stale (3:43)
Understanding (5:06)*
Fly to a Spider (2:45)*
Aphelion (5:02)
Intro (1:10)
Solitaire (3:12)
Holds Me Down (2:57)
Pulse (5:45)
Simple Song (4:01)
Beyond Blue Skies (3:15)
Varick St. (3:41)*

"Bled - Single" (March 2011)

"Two Sigma Blues" (July 2011)
Bled (4:38)
Unfallen (5:37)
Skinny Seventeen (3:52)*
Intro (1:03)
ABE (4:01)
Penitention (4:01)
Lost in the Sentiment (5:01)
Paper Tiger (3:34)
Tierce de Picardie (1:59)
Covets the Sky (4:31)
Remembrance (3:47)

* indicates radio or internet radio airplay.
- All songs available on Rhapsody and Last.fm for streaming.

Photos

Bio

- Early On -
I began singing early on, doing chorus work and glee clubs throughout my primary school years. In eighth grade I received a gift from my father that still affects me today...a Cort "Effector" electric guitar. Playing through my stereo, and blowing the speakers in the first week, my relationship with the six string began with such tunes as Limelight, by Rush, When the Levy Breaks by Led Zeppelin, and other such classic rock anthems. Later that year I began singing and playing in a Pseudo Brit Punk trio with band mates from school.

High School added an acoustic guitar to my two electrics and an appreciation for folk rock and blending voice and string alone. While singing in a Jersey Shore hard rock cover band in my junior and senior years, I started really working in earnest on my acoustic skills, tackling artists like: Cat Stevens, Simon & Garfunkle, Neil Young, and thanks to my mother's influences, John Denver.

- Progression -

I continued singing in various cover bands through college, playing shows for the St. Peter's College student community. But it's also where I discovered a love for English Literature. While taking a break from music, I spent the better part of the next six years focusing on writing and publishing short stories and poems.

After college, I went on to receive a Master's in English Literature from Rutgers University, publishing short stories in small market press magazines and getting a few poems anthologized. It was only a short time until I would marry a love of music with the written word.

- From here to... -

Another cover band after Rutgers, playing shows on the Shore while teaching English Comp at Rutgers and working a day job left me wanting a lot more. So the writing began, taking pieces of years worth of notes and poems and combining it with music derived from a multitude of influences. Two years later the first CD was ready for recording. The CD, rightfully titled "jigsaw," mixes a variety of guitar styles and musical influences with a variety of topics. Ready to tackle bass, piano, and synthesizers, as well as all the vocals and guitars, I wrote, recorded, and played all the parts on the CD (except the percussions, supplied by Stuart Joel, a fantastic session and live drummer).

Stage "Two" -

Two Sigma Blues...released eight years after jigsaw, was created after a challenge from my wife to write and record a song, which was something I hadn't done in about seven years. I was timidly approaching delving back into music as the creative outlet it once was ...and the challenge of applying all I'd learned from making my first album into generating a new recording of high quality and experimenting more with more evolved recording techniques, theory, composition and engineering.

A year later and we have 11 songs which come together from the encouragement of a lot of people, the influences of new life experiences, and the sheer enjoyment of picking up where I left off. This album, like "jigsaw," has a broad range of styles on it. Once more I tried to keep a flow between the songs...but was challenged in going from Indie rock, to ballad, to hardcore, to blues, to classical, to jazz.

The CD is my real bio, the influences, the studies, the learning over the past few years, the development of engineering and mixing skills, and the cultivation of some great relationships along the way.

I really hope you enjoy it.

Jeremy