Pianist Manuel Manetta (top) with Oscar Celestin (1925)

Manuel Manetta

1889 – 1969

Manuel “Fess” Manetta (1889-1969), was an Afro-Sicilian pianist, multi-instrumentalist, and music educator from Algiers, Louisiana. In addition to working as a solo pianist in brothels and with the Original Tuxedo Orchestra in Storyville, he was affiliated from 1917-1929 with the bands of Kid Ory (as a violinist), Manuel Perez (various brass and reeds), and Oscar Celestin (piano). Among his students were trumpeters Henry “Red” Allen, Buddie Petit, and Emmett Hardy.