New York based composer, educator and musician Julie Maniscalco draws inspiration from the world around her. Her debut project, Terroir: Music for Jazz Orchestra, was the recipient of the 2020 New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Premier Grant, which premiered as a virtual performance in July 2021.
This project features compositions that incorporate her myriad influences growing up in her native Staten Island and New York City surroundings. From the up-tempo, post-bop piece, We, the Mighty—inspired by her students—to the orchestrated cross-terrain adventure of Open Air (Tomorrow’s Journey), Maniscalco aims to bring a fresh approach to the jazz idiom as she gleans connections from home.
Terroir depicts the characteristics imparted by the environment in which something is produced. The influences, both externally and internally, produce something beautiful and complex. As with wine, Terroir defines the complete natural environment including outside influences such as: climate, topographical impact on its roots, and skill and craftsmanship of its growers. The environment and experiences as a female artist shape Terroir into something unique, complex, and organic.
Intended for music fans of all genres, Maniscalco’s often genre-fluid compositional style, marries Western classical instrumentation and orchestration with jazz. It sheds light on the evolution of the traditional big band into today’s jazz orchestra.
Beginning her journey at the College of Staten Island (City University of New York), Julie went on to continue her studies at William Paterson University (State University of New Jersey) earning a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies and Music Management. After working in the music industry for a few years, she went on to explore a career in music education. She earned an Advanced Certificate in Music Education at Brooklyn College (CUNY) and later a Masters Degree in Music Education, where she studied composition with Grammy award winning composer and bandleader, Arturo O’Farrill.
Julie Maniscalco has been a music educator in the New York City Public School System for almost ten years, teaching in programs for elementary and middle school age students, such as the Salute to Music Band Program. She credits working with her younger students and exploring music to finding her own identity as a composer.
Much like her own evolution from a career in the music industry to teaching in the public school system, her debut project, Terroir: Music for Jazz Orchestra served as a major stepping stone for her as an artist. Among her other composition achievements include a nomination for the Composers Now Residency Program in Fall 2021, and special judge's selection for Ithaca College's 2022 Jazz Composition Contest for her piece "Deflated". Later that year her composition, "Songbird of Hoyt" was performed at the illustrious Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall by the Susan E. Wagner High School Jazz Band as part of the New York International Music Festival. Other arrangements have been written for the Paul Corn Jazz Collective Septet, Joe Maniscalco Ensemble and the Brooklyn College Big Band. She currently participates in the BMI Jazz Workshop.
Julie looks forward to exploring new opportunities to continue her journey and development and continue establishing her unique voice and style.