Erica Mancini, a Chicago-land native born to Argentine parents, moved to New York City in 2009 to pursue a degree at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Before her move, she was deeply involved in marching band, orchestra, and jazz band (doubling on drum set/percussion and electric bass), as well as other musical projects of her own.
Shortly before arriving to NYC, she decided to pick up a new instrument—the accordion. She worked closely with teacher and mentor Bill Schimmel, with whom she studied with privately for the duration of her time at NYU. At Gallatin, she focused her studies on subcultures, music, and identity. Not only did she gain bearings as a performer, musician, and writer, but also she was the recipient of two Dean’s Awards for Summer Research, with which she conducted ethnographic work in Argentina, Chicago, and in New York City.
After graduating in 2013, she has performed as an accordionist, vocalist, and percussionist internationally and throughout the US. She has performed in jazz bands (singing, playing and leading her own ensemble “The Bee’s Knees” and has been on an East Coast tour with Albert Ayler-inspired jazz sea shanty group “The Blowhards”, also plays in several NYC based gypsy jazz ensembles). She is also a member of acoustic punk band “Let’s Get Sushi and Not Pay”, and has performed and recorded (a single, also featured in a compilation) with them. She has also recorded with folk metal band, Tsarina. She has played percussion in marching bands (Kings County Pipes and Drums, Gotham Pipes and Drums, NYU Pipes and Drums, Hungry March Band) as well as in rock bands (all-girl dream thrash rock band “Huff This!”). She is involved in many original and world music projects (French reggae fusion with “The Blue Dahlia”, original folk music from the Dominican Republic with “Irka Mateo y La Tirindanga”, traditional Bavarian polka and rock with “The Jajajas”, jazz-forward Italian songwriter Emmanuelle Tozzi)
Mancini has worked for private agencies and high-end clients (Hermes of Paris, Delta Airlines, Gwenyth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Vueve Cliquot, Carven) and has performed at private events at The Whitney Museum of Art, World Trade Center One, The Biltmore Estate, The Breakers. She has also been featured in curated urban public performances at City Center in Washington DC, and Penn Plaza 33, Battery City Park, and Bryant Park in NYC.
She has also been part of immersive theater productions (Sleep No More, Atlas Obscura, Dances of Vice, Speakeasy Dollhouse, Truffles: A Murder Mystery off-Broadway) and more traditional theater as well (Daniel Catan’s opera ‘Il Postino’ and Kurt Weill’s “Happy End”). She has been featured on national and international television, and has performed at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, The Kaye Playhouse, The New School of Drama, The Highline Ballroom and countless other NYC venues. Recently, Mancini has discovered a new passion in acrobatics and the circus arts, (particularly with the aerial silks), and has been collaborating with classical harpist and pole dancer Stephanie Babirak to produce an experimental variety show featuring circus, burlesque, classical music, and jazz called “Dr. Wilkes’s World of Wonders”.