Musa Manzini was born at Inanda, north of Durban, South Africa and moved to Cape Town later for high school and university studies. It was later in his high school days that he first picked up the guitar just as a hobby, but was hooked to it ever since. "I was faced with having to choose between music as a full-time career or becoming a lawyer, which is the career my parents had carved for me. At one point, I thought I could be a lawyer who plays the bass".
After high school Musa enrolled at a MAPP institution, which was a Swedish and Kagiso Trust initiative to assist musicians from previously disadvantaged communities of South Africa. This introduced him to the basic aspects of music theory and improvisation. In 1992, he enrolled at the University of Cape Town where he completed a Bachelor of Music degree, majoring in Composition and Arrangement.
In 1995, while at UCT, he received the Professor Peter Klatzow Award for Composition and Orchestration.
After graduation, Musa spent three years as a part-time lecturer at UCT instructing Electric and Acoustic Basses, Jazz Theory and Improvisation. At the same time, Musa was performing and recording as a session musician around the country with musicians such as: Rene' MacLean, Jimmy Dludlu, Jonathan Butler, Gavin Minter, Nhlanhla Magagula, Kevin Gibson, Mark Goliath, Judith Sephuma, Winston Ngozi, Sipho Mabuse, Menyatso Mathole, Selaelo Selota, Joe McBride, UCT Jazz Orchestra and several others.
Manzini's style and sound has been honed by the multi-facetted Cape Town music scene, and mostly the townships of Guguletu, Langa, Mitchell's Plain and Khayelitsha. In 2000, Musa released his debut recording entitled "New Reflections", which earned him a SAMA nomination for Best Contemporary Album. It was also introduced into the film and television industry by Mfundi Vundla, where he worked on daily drama series like “Backstage” and “Generations” as a film scorer and musical director. In 2002, Musa released his second CD, “Tributes and Memories”, which has received extensive airplay and recognition nationally and internationally. “Tributes and Memories” was also nominated for Best Contemporary Album at the 2004 SAMA awards.
Musa has performed at North Sea Jazz Festival, New Orleans, Joy of Jazz, Muscat, Jazzathon, Artsalive as well as many other club gigs, functions and musicians' workshops locally and abroad. Musa Manzini has just released a brand new CD entitled "My Bass" and is on the road for the first time introducing the bass to the people, as well as studying towards a post-graduate diploma in Marketing Management through University of South Africa.