© 2013 Gabriel Manzo / MANZO RALLY. All rights reserved.
Among her many credentials:
Dawn performed 9 years at The United Center for Chicago Bulls pregames, as well as playing the exclusive private victory party for their 4th consecutive NBA Championship.
She has also played for Chicago Blackhawks pregames, Chicago Bears, Cubs and White Sox charity functions, for the 2001 and 2002 Miss USA Coronation Ball, Vice President Al Gore, activist Dick Gregory, activist Jesse Jackson, and has appeared numerous times on Telemundo tv.
Dawn has played the famous Taste of Chicago and VIVA Chicago festivals many consecutive years running, and played at dozens of Chicago's most exclusive rooms, clubs, theaters and concert venues. She has played in support of Ramsey Lewis, Jerry Butler, Nancy Wilson, Harry Belafonte, Jose Feliciano, The O'Jays, Tito Nieves, Tower Of Power, The Chi-Lites, Freda Payne, War, The Barrio Boys, Little Joe Y La Familia, Emilio Navaira, Malo, El Chicano, Tierra, El Gran Combo, and many others.
Since moving to California in late 2003, Dawn has performed with various artists, but primarily focuses on studio work, songwriting, and especially studio production and engineering.
She is a core member of MANZO RALLY both "behind the scenes" and upon selected occasions, on stage in the live band.
After 9 years of classical piano training, Dawn Livingston-Manzo
discovered the freedom, expression and versatility of early Moog synthesizers, and experienced a modern musical epiphany.
"Even though I knew my friends were infinitely more entertained when I played Billy Preston tunes I'd figured out from the radio than when I played Chopin or Rachmaninoff," Dawn explained,
"Once I experienced a MiniMoog first hand, it was as if a bell went off inside my head. From that moment on, I pretty much rebelled against the whole prim and proper classical recital and competition scene - which truthfully, I was primarily doing to please my grandmother, who was paying for my lessons - and I went off in a completely different direction."
By the time she reached the age of 17, Dawn left home, quit classical entirely, and began playing in various bands in her native Chicago. She had saved enough money to buy her own Moog, which sat atop her second-hand 88-key Fender Rhodes.
"Man, that Rhodes was heavy! It was the suitcase model. You know, the one with the 100 watt amp and big speaker cabinet as its base." Dawn laughs, "However did I carry that thing around?"
Realizing she could make a living playing music, Dawn was soon playing countless gigs with several groups throughout Chicago and the Great Lakes area.
By the early 1990s, she was invited to play in an elite 10 piece Latin show band which had a large following in Chicago.
She became a member of that group exclusively for 11 years.
It was while playing with that group, Together, opening for Malo in Chicago, that she met her husband, Gabriel Manzo. They were married in the spring of 2003.
"We played four or five shows together, and the next thing I knew, we were married!" Dawn laughed.
"It was kinda crazy - I mean, I was a "lone wolf," so to speak, and suddenly, I found myself married to this incredible guy who lived in California, and wanted me to move there!" Dawn laughed again.
"On top of it, I was contracted in Chicago through autumn of that year, so, needless to say, we spent ungodly amounts of money on phone calls and air fare for 6 months."
She smiled. "It was the most impulsive thing I've ever done, but something told me I'd never regret it - and I certainly haven't."
"Now, with MANZO RALLY, I have the chance to play with some of the best musicians in and around San Francisco, and it's an honor. Not only playing on the same stage with them, but hearing them bring music that Gabriel and I have written to life in ways that make me smile every time. Life is good!"