Birthplace: New York
Race or Ethnicity: White
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Composer, musician and champion of Arnold
The daughter of composer/performers Carla Bley and Michael Mantler, Karen Mantler has been caught up in the musician's lifestyle since her birth, appearing on stage with her parents as an infant and making her recording debut on Carla's landmark Escalator Over the Hill at the age of four. Between 1977 and 1980, she toured as part of The Carla Bley Band, eventually being given the sack and enrolling at the Berklee College of Music instead.
Karen's most visible musical output has been in tribute to her cat Arnold: beginning with My Cat Arnold in 1989, following up with Karen Mantler And Her Cat Arnold Get The Flu in 1990, and sadly culminating in Arnold's Dead, performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1991. More recent work has included activity with The Carla Bley Big Band; participation in a live presentation of Escalator Over the Hill (although with considerable elaboration on the role she played when she was 4); collaborations with Steve Swallow and Jack Bruce; and participation in a Robert Wyatt tribute performance staged in London in 2001. Between 1991 and 1993, she served as general manager of Watt Works, the music company founded by her parents. She performs with her own band where and as often as is likely.
Father: Michael Mantler (musician, b. 1943)
Mother: Carla Bley (musician, b. 1938)
University: Berklee College of Music
The Carla Bley Band Glockenspiel (1977-80)
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