Mountain Characters: A one man band of many talents
December 14, 2015
He's the father of Jewgrass. He's a one-man band. He's a third-degree blackbelt. He's Brad Manosevitz, and he's thrilled to be able to play music, teach peace and reside in the Roaring Fork Valley.
"I like living in a place where we lock our doors so the bears don't get in rather than to keep people from stealing our stuff," Manosevitz said.
Manosevitz, 49, has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for 15 years, though he first began coming to Snowmass Village in the early '70s. He worked for GrassRoots TV for about 10 years, where he frequently filmed local concerts at places like the Belly Up.
That led to his current summer career as a concert video director and organizer. He's on the video production staff at Red Rocks Ampitheatre near Denver, and helped put on the bluegrass-themed DelFest — named after bluegrass great Del McCoury — in Maryland last Memorial Day as well as the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass concerts in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in October.
"Since Memorial Day, I haven't been home for more than a week at a time until just before Thanksgiving," Manosevitz said.
Now he gets to start his winter career in the form of BradMan's One Man Band.
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"I've been playing in the Roaring Fork Valley for years — mostly to support my rafting habit," Manosevitz said. "Last winter, I leaned hard on music for the first time."
And he discovered, for the first time, he could actually support himself as a musician.
"I was pleasantly surprised about that," he said. "It was an experiment."
This season, BradMan's One Man Band — in which he incorporates a loop pedal that allows him to play bass, guitar, mandolin, percussion and sing at the same time — is frequently booked to play to the apres-ski crowd at the St. Regis and The Little Nell as well as at Venga Venga in Snowmass. In addition, he'll play a couple times a month at Aspen Brewing Co.
"In the wintertime, I'm singing for my life," Manosevitz said.
He plays a blend of Americana, bluegrass, folk rock, classic rock and a few originals. Two of those originals are Jewish-themed bluegrass songs — one about Passover and the other about immigration — that allow Manosevitz to claim a special title.
"I am the father of Jewgrass," he said.
When he's not playing music, Manosevitz can be found every Monday and Wednesday at Colorado Mountain College, where he teaches the Japanese art of aikido. He's been practicing aikido since 1990, and said he picked it up because he didn't know how to fight and "didn't want to go through life being scared."
The art — Manosevitz said he hesitates to call it a "martial art" — teaches practitioners to neutralize attacks and provides an aerobic workout. He said it fits well with Aspen's "mind, body, spirit" ethos. In fact, Aspen legend Klaus Obermeyer spoke of his Aikido workouts in a recent Wall Street Journal article as a contributing factor to his quality of life and longevity.
"At its core, it's about non-violent conflict resolution," he said. "It teaches you to love the attacker."
Manosevitz said he's thankful to be able to live in a place that allows him to do the things he loves while providing clean air, clean water and the opportunity to be in total wilderness in about 15 minutes.
"A lot of the bulls— doesn't make it up here," he said. "I'm not a big city guy."