Manuel comes from a family of musicians. On his mother's side, his grandmother is a piano teacher, his grandfather a flautist, his mother plays cello and viola and his aunt the violin. His father, Lionel Rocheman (guitarist and actor), created the "Hootenanny" at the American Center in Paris, where performers came from around the world. As a 10 year old his brother gave him a wonderful record of Oscar Peterson playng solo (it was 'Tracks'); Manuel already had his own track-record of four years of piano.
Listening to the Canadian virtuoso gave him a great feeling of freedom and made him want to go down the same road. He was entirely won over by the harmony and rhythm of the language of Jazz.
Pianist Bob Vatel invited him to come and jam in Paris Jazz clubs when he was 12. Manuel had to get himself technically equipped, which he did by meeting Alberto Neuman at the C.N.R de Paris, one of the rare disciples of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. At his side he greatly developed his piano technique. He also took music academy courses in writing and percussion. In parallel he worked with Jazz pianists Nicolas Montier, Gabriel Garvanoff and Michel Sardaby.
While staying in New York in 1980 he met Tommy Flanagan and Jaki Byard who urged him on. He kept in close touch with them until they passed away. That same year Bob Vatel introduced him to Martial Solal and as chance would have it Martial accepted to take Manuel on as his only pupil.
By 1983 he was performing professionally in Paris with a trio, in 1984 he played two pianos with Martial Solal at the Paris Jazz Festival and from then on it was one engagement after another.
The profession was very quick to acknowledge his immense talent: best French pianist at the Martial Solal Jazz Piano international competition in 1989. In 1991 he won the best disc award from the Académie du Jazz for his first CD Trio Urbain. In 1992 he won the Django d'Or for the best French disc for his second CD White Keys.
Won over by his personality and his talent, Fondation BNP Paribas, one of the few sponsors on the jazz scene, accompanied his career development from 1995 to 2002. In 1998 he won the Django Reinhardt Prize of the Académie du Jazz for the musician of the year.
Appearing often in trio, in solo or as a duo with Olivier Ker Ourio or Sara Lazarus, Manuel Rocheman is making his mark as one of the greatest pianists of the day. Performers from all walks seek him out, from Anthony Ortega to Sylvain Beuf, drummers Al Foster and Aldo Romano, double-bass players George Mraz and Kyle Eastwood, while the Orchestre National de Jazz commissioned a piece from him: 'San Felipe' was created for the ONJ and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Montpellier. Since 2004, Manuel is a member of the International Jazz Orchestra directed by Dusko Goykovich.
Manuel has demonstrated his talent as a composer on his albums, particularly those recorded in New York with two giants, double-bass player George Mraz and drummer Al Foster.