Manas Itene is a Nigerian-born musician, professional drummer, singer, and songwriter. He has been the drummer and backing vocalist for Michael Franti and Spearhead since 2000. He has traveled the world performing for audiences of all sizes from Glastonbury to Bonaroo to Red Rocks and beyond.
Manas started his music career banging on a homemade drum kit in his hometown of Ughelli, Nigeria. At age 16 he started playing with the Mandators, a popular Nigerian Reggae band spreading a message of peace and hope. His experience brought him to the US where he was able to further advance his music career while performing and recording with incredible artists: Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, Mickey Thomas of Jefferson Starship, Babatunde Olatunjii, Don Carlos, and Peter Rowan, a Bluegrass Grammy-award winning musician.
In 2021, Manas recorded and released his second studio album, One Accord. Consisting of an incredible mix of music genres the album is moving, happy, and uplifting. Manas is touring the U.S. to spread good vibes and positivity through his music while convening epic drum circles.
Manas is honored to be a member of the Advisory Board for the COMMON Foundation. He brings decades of experience and knowledge in the music industry to advise on the development of the foundation’s Artist in Residence program.