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, being mostly punk bands.
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 with many different groups and also as a solo artist. 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 events at iconic New York locations such as The Whitney Museum of Art, World Trade Center One, and The Rainbow Room. She has also been featured in curated urban public performances at City Center in Washington DC, as well as Penn Plaza 33, Battery City Park, and Bryant Park in NYC. She has been featured on national and international television (NBC5, Argentine radio and TV, HBO), and has performed in an astounding variety of musical situations. In addition, Mancini has developed a passion in aerial / circus arts, (particularly with the aerial silks), and is one of the only people in the world to play accordion and sing while doing aerial acrobatics on the silks. She is currently the cover girl for the Accordion Babes Pinup Calendar for 2019.
Her original project, called Ghost Pony, is a psychedelic spaghetti western band in which she also plays accordion while performing on the aerial silks. This project has performed at Lincoln Center, Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery, LA’s Globe Theater, performing alongside Xiu Xiu, Black Marble, Elliot Sharpe/William Schimmel, and more. They plan on recording this summer.
In her creative downtime, she likes to spend her time combining the accordion and different electronic elements (such as Ableton, pedals, and effects) and developing new sounds and ways to use the accordion in compositions and within the context of improvising.
She frequently performs with several different jazz bands, singing, playing and leading her own ensemble The Bee’s Knees, and also with many other groups including The Gotham Easy (New Orleans weirdo hot jazz), Bon Musique, Carte Blanche, Via Paris Jazz Band, The Hot Toddies, The Bailsmen, and more.
Mancini is a member of indie project called Sincere Gifts and will be going on tour in the summer of 2019 with the ensemble.
She has supported folk/Americana artists, including Vincent Cross (original Americana and folk music, recording project), Seth Kessel (rock and roll, country, blues), and Tom Shaner (ghost songs, waltzes, and rock and roll). She has also recorded with folk punk / metal bands, including Let’s Get Sushi and Not Pay (recordings include a single, also featured in a compilation), and also with folk metal band, Tsarina, as well as Homerik. Also, she is part of Skullbuggery, a crew of sea shanty-singing pirate actors that take over the Clipper City Ship in the New York Harbor, and produce an immersive sailing experience.
Erica has supported Irka Mateo y La Tirindanga (original and Dominican folk music) and performed at Lincoln Center, filmed at Congahead Studios, and held a Club Bonafide residency with the group). She performed a nearly sold out show with jazz-forward Italian songwriter Emmanuelle Tozzi at Le Poisson Rouge. Additionally, she plays with French reggae group The Blue Dahlia.
Mancini is a member of The Jajajas, which is a traditional Bavarian polka/oompah/blasmusik group that performs year-round, but is featured annually at Munich on the East River Oktoberfest for thousands of audience members.
In 2017, Mancini did a short East Coast tour of whaling towns with The Blowhards, a free improvising Albert Ayler-inspired jazz sea shanty group, led by Jeff Lederer. She also recently performed with Karl Berger’s Creative Music Studio’s Improviser’s Orchestra, alongside incredible improvising musicians such as Steve Bernstein, Billy Martin, Peter Apfelbaum, Ingrid Sertso, and Bob Stuart.
Additionally, Erica keeps her drumming chops in shape by performing with a few bagpipe bands, including the NYU Pipes and Drums, Monaghan Pipes and Drums, Kings County Pipes and Drums, and Gotham Pipes and Drums, with shows at venues including Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and more. She also recorded in now defunct all-girl dream thrash rock band Huff This!
Her theatrical and film involvement has kept her busy throughout the past few years, and she has had the pleasure of performing in the following projects: “A People’s History of Silicon Valley”, multi-instrumentalist/acting, ANT Fest at Ars Nova, (2019), “Brecht’s Galileo”, multi-instrumentalist/accordion, Irondale Theater, (2019), “EVITA”, onstage accordion/singing/acting, Riverside Theater, Vero Beach, FLA (2019), “Minky Woodcock, The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini” produced by Speakeasy Dollhouse, accordion/acting, Theater 80, (2018), “The John Oliver Show”, on-camera accordion, HBO, (2018), “Shakespear’s Shitshow”, on-camera accordion, Troma Films, (2018), “Happy End” accordion in the ensemble for Kurt Weill Operetta, New School, “Il Postino”, on-stage accordion at Kaye’s Playhouse for Daniel Catan’s opera, New School , “Truffles: A Murder Mystery” accordionist in off-broadway musical show for over 5 years, “Svejk”, accordion in an NYU Gallatin theater production, Mancini has also performed in McKittrick Hotel at “Sleep No More”, Atlas Obscura events “Into The Veil”, “Dances of Vice” events, ‘Speakeasy Dollhouse’: “The Illuminati Ball” and “Ziegfeld Follies”, as well as various burlesque and variety shows/productions in NYC.