"He's a musical pied piper; quick, nimble, and wonderfully crazy. He alternates complexity, simplicity, and hilarity, leading us to the most beautifully obvious conclusion; that we're all human, we're all in this together, and it's not so bad after all."
- Margie Rosenkrantz, Director, The Eighth Step
"The blending, in fact, is what makes Mankita such an outstanding performer . . . Even within individual verses of the same song, Mankita will shift his voice from a Brombergian growl to a soft and mellow falsetto; pull his tempo from allegretto to a dramatic legato; from Windham Hillian wallpaper background to a snapping fret-slapping blues style. With his assortment of styles and voices, you never find your mind wandering.”
-Jeremy Bloom, Schenectady Daily Gazette
"A consumate folk artist who performs in a whimsical, versatile style for both children and adults; a good portion of his work is environmentally, or peace-and-justice based.”
- Whole Earth Review
Jay Mankita is the musical artist behind "Eat Like A Rainbow", one among a number of other musical projects.
He is a masterful guitarist, singer, and songwriter who for the past 30 years, has presented thousands of concerts for adults and for children.
His songs have been heard worldwide, having been sung and recorded by dozens of performers, groups, and choruses, and featured on albums such as Putumayo's internationally released 'Picnic Playground', and the 2011 Grammy-Nominated CD, 'Healthy Food For Thought'.
The strength and clarity of Jay's unique style of guitar playing provides a rich rhythmic ground for his dynamic and original melodies and lyrics.
He is as well known for his funny songs like 'From a Dog's Stance', 'Tracy At The Bat', and 'The Cliche Song' as he is for songs like 'Living Planet', 'Morning Face', and 'Bread Alone'.
Three of Jay's popular songs will be published in 2015, in 'Rise Again', the sequel to the much beloved songbook, "Rise Up Singing".
Over the years, Jay has shared the stage, opened for, performed with, and recorded with many well known artists, including: Pete Seeger, David Bromberg, Leon Russell, Tom Paxton, Paul Winter, and dozens of others.
He drove the "Veggie Voyager", a touring van powered by recycled vegetable oil, for 8 years, but has recently traded it in for a Prius. He has recorded 6 CDs, his favorite color is blue, and he is currently living in Western Massachusetts.
Jay was born in the 1960's with a big birthmark on the right side of his head, so baby pictures only show his left side.
He took his first guitar lessons at age 9, but he didn't pick it up again for another 9 years, when he started college. This time, Jay fell in love with the guitar, but his strange, double-jointed fingers couldn't play rock power chords all night long, and that led him to develop his unusual playing style which opened the door to a unique, and quirky style of songwriting.
Creating a balance between life as both a children's performer and an adult singer-songwriter has been a challenge, but it's helped to bring a playful air to his serious songwriting, and serious musicianship to his work with kids.
These days, Jay is working hard on his piano chops, and he is loving the process of developing a new set of musical skills.