Roger Joseph Manning Jr. Arranging Services is a team of two highly sought-after studio musicians in Los Angeles with decades of diverse experience in the fields of arranging, orchestrating, producing, session playing, conducting, contracting, mixing, touring, recording, and everything in between. Drawing from a wide spectrum of multitudinous talents, Roger Joseph Manning Jr. and Steve Aho bring your musical vision to life. After first meeting one another in 2012 to work on Paramore's double-platinum self-titled album, Roger and Steve have subsequently collaborated on numerous successful projects, including: Young The Giant’s Mind Over Matter (producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen); Emile Haynie’s We Fall (producer Emile Haynie); Nate Ruess’ Grand Romantic (producers Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Nate Ruess); Jim Adkins’ (of Jimmy Eat World fame) Single Series 2015 (producer Jim Adkins); Tobias Jesso Jr.'s (Conan O’ Brien TV appearance) (Musical Director/Producer Ariel Rechtshaid); Dylan Gardner's latest (still unreleased) album (producer Matt Radosevich).
While able to thrive in any musical setting, the team prides itself in bringing to your project a true appreciation of a bygone era of classic pop production. They draw heavily on the pop arranging styles of George Martin, Paul Buckmaster, Randy Newman, Jimmy Haskell, Al DeLory, Van Dyke Parks, and Burt Bacharach, to name just a few. Roger and Steve’s involvement with such masters as Brian Wilson, Glen Campbell, Peter Asher, Neil Diamond, Stevie Nicks, Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, Paul Simon, Johnny Cash, Michael McDonald, David Foster, Randy Newman, and Ringo Starr have heavily influenced their approach to complementing all pop styles through orchestral arranging that can be heard as they weave this inspiration into a contemporary pop context.
ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR. has enjoyed a long and fruitful career as a touring keyboardist, most notably with Beck, session player, arranger, and producer. (see credits list under the "credits" tab)
Roger's arranging career began as early as 1989 when he began arranging string, brass, wind and vocal ensembles for his first band, Jellyfish, on Virgin Records which he co-founded. He co-wrote and co-produced two Virgin releases as well as sang and played keyboards. Out of the ashes of Jellyfish arose his second co-founded project, Imperial Drag, on Sony's Work Group label, from 1994-97, which saw overwhelming overseas success, particularly in England and Japan. From 1995-97 he co-founded the all-vintage electronic duo known as The Moog Cookbook. This group was started solely as a means of having a forum to express its love for the bygone era of vintage synthesizers and exotic keyboards. Ultimately it became his calling card for longtime friend and collaborator, Beck Hansen.
At this time, Roger began his almost 20-year and still-active relationship as Beck’s sideman, touring the world and recording upwards of 5 critically acclaimed albums. Beck's 2014 release, Morning Phase, on which Roger both played keyboards and sang, won 2015 Grammys in both the Best Rock Album and Album Of The Year categories.
By 1997, Roger's career as a free-lance session keyboardist, songwriter, arranger and background vocalist was in full swing. Over the last 20 years, Roger has contributed keyboards to hundreds of pop/rock albums, played on numerous films and TV soundtracks, composed for commercials and radio spots, enjoyed a long run as a remixer, and toured extensively with other artists. Over the past decade, he has been involved with many large-scale orchestral arranging projects (see CREDITS page), including Nate Ruess' first band, The Format, and his second band, Fun! His success with Nate Ruess’ projects reawakened Roger's love for arranging and more offers soon followed. His arranging career re-launched in 2012 when he was asked to work on Nate's duet with Pink for the 2012 smash, Learn to Love Again, produced by Grammy award-winning producer Jeff Bhasker.
Later that year, Roger was invited by producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen to arrange on Paramore’s double-platinum selling 2012 self-titled release. It was on this project that Roger was first introduced to master orchestrator, conductor, copyist and contractor, Steve Aho. Discovering that their respective skill sets and years of experience highly complimented each other, the two began a collaborative relationship as an arranging/orchestrating super team that continues to this day.
STEVE AHO can best be described as an all-in-one music go-to guy of the 21st century. Be it as a musician, producer, music director, conductor, arranger, engineer, or general music tech geek, he executes everything with thoughtfully tailored expertise and panache, making himself an indispensable part of every project in which he is involved.
His playing and music production have appeared in feature film soundtracks, national TV broadcasts such as The Jay Leno Show, The Conan O'Brien Show, PBS Great Performances, Canada AM, The Dr. Phil Show, TV commercials, national sports broadcasts, audio sample libraries, and numerous album projects. As a musician equally comfortable playing drums, vibraphone, percussion, or keyboards, he has worked with musical luminaries as diverse as Adele, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Steve Martin, Jason Mraz, Nate Ruess, Paul Simon, Jim Adkins (Jimmy Eat World), Tobias Jesso Jr., Edie Brickell, Graham Nash, Natalie Cole, Katherine McPhee, Stevie Nicks, Cobra Starship, Chris Isaak, Lyle Lovett, Patrick Stump, Shawn Colvin, Michelle Branch, Boz Skaggs, Raul Malo, Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, Reba McEntire, Charice, Neil Sedaka, and Michael Feinstein.
Steve's musical career has taken him to perform in five continents and in 49 U.S. States. As an active musician in Los Angeles, Steve orchestrates, contracts and conducts large-scale orchestral studio sessions, including the newest albums of Nate Ruess, Emile Haynie, Paramore, and Young the Giant. He plays drums and serves as music director for Warner Brothers recording artist William Joseph, with whom he has toured with Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins, and Josh Groban, and continually works with various artists in the pop/classical world. Steve also works regularly with mega-producer/music icon Peter Asher on various album projects and performs in his memoirs show. Well versed in many different styles of music, he has performed worldwide with jazz vocalist Monica Mancini and spent a two-year tenure touring with Engelbert Humperdinck. In addition to touring for approximately four months each year with various artists, he has performed several times for the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards.