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Ed Mann Obituary: Former Frank Zappa’s Band Member Died

Ed Mann, celebrated percussionist and former member of Frank Zappa’s band, passed away unexpectedly on June 1, 2024. He was 70 years old. The news of his death has sent shockwaves through the music community and his many admirers, with social media flooded with tributes and expressions of sorrow.

Ed Mann Obituary
Mann was a masterful musician whose career spanned several decades. Known for his impeccable skill and precision, he was an integral part of Frank Zappa’s band for 11 years. His ability to flawlessly execute the complex and intricate compositions thrown at him by Zappa earned him immense respect in the industry.

“Ed Mann… This one hits hard. Ed was a big reason why I initially was interested in CalArts. Studying with him turned into a friendship of almost 40 years,” a long-time friend shared on social media, encapsulating the deep personal and professional impact Mann had on those around him.

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Ed Mann Obituary
Ed Mann’s musical journey began in his childhood, where he dabbled in both drumming and piano. His formal education at Hartt College of Music and later at the California Institute of the Arts laid a solid foundation for his remarkable career. Over the years, he collaborated with many notable artists beyond Zappa, including Kenny Loggins, Rickie Lee Jones, and Don Ellis.

Mann’s contributions to music extended beyond performance. He was also a composer, producer, and educator, sharing his vast knowledge and passion for music with the next generation. His work as a sound designer, particularly with the Repercussion Unit and Band from Utopia, showcased his innovative approach to percussion and sound.

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Tim Palmieri, a fellow musician, reminisced about his time with Mann: “It all started in December 2013 when we first played with Ed Mann. It was a tough, snowy four-day run, but we had a great time bonding in the music of Frank Zappa, rock ‘n’ roll rebellion, and complex intricate avant-garde melodic constructs.”

Despite his professional success, Mann’s personal life was marked by profound connections and some hardships. He had a deep love for Buddhism, Jimi Hendrix, gongs, and most importantly, his daughter Anais, who tragically passed away at a young age. His love for his daughter was a significant part of his life, and friends recall fond memories of the two enjoying music together.

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Ed Mann’s death leaves a void in the world of music, but his legacy lives on through his recordings, his students, and the countless lives he touched. As tributes continue to pour in, one thing is clear: Ed Mann was not just a brilliant percussionist, but a cherished friend and mentor whose memory will be a blessing to all who knew him.

He is survived by his family, friends, and the global community of musicians and fans who will forever remember his contributions to the art of percussion.

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