Manuel Robles is a composer, guitarist, and international student from Venezuela. Finishing his fundamentals of guitar in Valencia, Venezuela on 2011, he continued his studies on his own, and in 2013 became the guitarist of the Alt Rock band “INCOGNITA” until 2014, while also playing with several other musicians from Valencia. Afterwards, he emigrated to the U.S to finish his English studies as a second language on the ELI: English Language Institute at the University of Florida. Graduating from the ELI in just 2 semesters, Mr. Robles was accepted to start his AA at Santa Fe College on summer of 2015. At Santa Fe College, Manuel began his formal studies in music, and in short time gained the position of Guitarist for the: Jazz Combo, Jazz Big Band, and R&B Combo for 2 years under director Dr. Steve Bingham, while also being one of the percussionists for the Concert Band of the college for 1 semester.
He became the recipient of the Fine Arts Scholarship, and kept the award for the totality of his time in the college. On January of 2016, Mr. Robles was invited to represent Santa Fe College together with a select number of musicians at the University of North Florida’s 2016 Music Symposium, where he performed together with the UNF Guitar ensemble, formed by guitar players from around the country only for this event. On summer of 2016, he performed as the guitar player for the musical: Sweet Charity, which took place in the Fine Arts Hall at Santa Fe College. On fall of 2016, he was accepted at the University of Florida to continue his studies in music, and to start his studies as a composer.
At the University of Florida, Mr. Robles started his formal studies on guitar with Prof. Ulisses Rocha, where he instructed him on classical guitar, and jazz. Manuel also became part of the University of Florida’s Guitar Ensemble. On spring of 2017, he became part of Swamp Records, a student run record label from UF, where he started as part of the promotions team, and quickly moved to be part of the Florida Basement, a section dedicated to write articles about the local, and national music scene. As part of Swamp Records, Manuel helped with the organization of 2 festivals in total: Heartwood Fest, and Changeville 2017. Under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Polo,Manuel presented his first original composition to be performed “Hungarian Dance No. 1” at the SCI: Society of Composers, Inc. 2017 Festival, a festival for new contemporary composers at the University of Florida.
Over the summer, after doing voluntary work at Heartwood Soundstage, Manuel became an intern in the studio, where he worked as a sound technician, and assistant to the sound engineer, helping with the organization of festivals, concerts, and recording sessions inside the facility. Over the fall of 2017, Manuel continued his guitar studies under Dr. Welson Tremura, while still participating in the UF guitar ensemble. After a period of application, Mr. Robles won the Diane Fisher award for outstanding community service on the Gainesville Community. He currently is still pursuing his education, being the recipient for both the Diane Fisher award, and the LAC scholarship at the University of Florida.