Featured in Voyage Tampa Magazine
Today we’d like to introduce you to P. Manzell Bledsoe...
P. Manzell Bledsoe discovered and fell in love with music at an early age. Growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada, his earliest childhood memories were scored to a soundtrack of jazz, rhythm and blues, and soul music. Bledsoe began playing the saxophone around age eleven, inspired by his uncle, a self-taught saxophonist. Hard work and countless hours of study paid off. Before the age of twenty-one, Bledsoe had established himself as a young professional playing on stages across the United States and over six countries in Europe. Manzell received a degree in Jazz Studies/Performance from the prestigious University of North Texas jazz program in 2012, whose jazz program was famed for being the first to offer a degree in 1947. During his formative years at college, he was a member of the popular Denton-based Hip-Hop Fusion band, The BoomBachs where he was showcased in numerous magazines, newspapers, websites, and blogs around the Dallas-ForthWorth Metroplex. The band received a nomination for the Dallas Observer Music Awards in 2014 and 2015 and released several projects. Looking to expand his musical horizons, Manzell relocated to Tampa, Florida in 2015 where he has performed at popular Tampa Bay Area venues such as Straz Center for The Performing Arts, the Palladium, the Hard Rock Casino, and Studio@620. Manzell possesses a flare in his performance that draws and encapsulates his audiences to his sound. This talent enabled him the opportunity to open for national recording artists like Mindi Abair, Thundercat, and Devin The Dude. When off stage, Bledsoe also contributes to the educational growth of the community by teaching, tutoring, and performing. As a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc, Manzell had the honor of playing for the National Founders Day celebration in 2019. Manzell completed an interview in the May 2021 edition of VoyageTampa. In 2022, Bledsoe began organizing community “sax hangs.” Think of it as a saxophone society where people of all ages come together to learn, play and cultivate their love for the saxophone and its rich history.