John McNeil biography
John McNeil is regarded as one of the top creative jazz artists in the world today. His highly personal trumpet style communicates across the full range of contemporary jazz. Audiences find John's music immediately compelling.
His background includes the Horace Silver Quintet, Slide Hampton, John Abercrombie, Gerry Mulligan, and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, among others. For more than two decades John has toured with his own groups and has received widespread acclaim for his playing as well as his compositions.
John McNeil was born in 1948 in northern California. Due to a lack of available musical instruction in his home town of Yreka, John largely taught himself to play trumpet and read music. By the time he graduated from high school in 1966, John had already begun playing professionally in the northern California region.
John moved to New York in the mid-1970's and began a freelance career. His reputation as an innovative trumpet voice began to grow as he played with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, and led his own groups at clubs such as Boomer's, the legendary Village jazz room.
In the late 70's, John joined the Horace Silver Quintet. Around the same time, he began recording for the SteepleChase label under his own name and toured internationally.
Although he has worked as a sideman with such luminaries as Gerry Mulligan, John has consistently led his own groups from about 1980 to the present. He has recorded numerous albums that have met with excellent reviews, and continues to record with similar acclaim.
In the 1990's, John became increasingly in demand as a writer, arranger, and record producer. He continues these activities in addition to his usual schedule of live performance.
John's most recent three most recent albums are on OmniTone: East Coast Cool (with John Hebert on bass and Matt Wilson on drums), Sleep Won't Come (with Jeff Jenkins on piano and Kent McLagan on bass) and This Way Out (with Gorka Benitez on tenor saxophone, Giulia Valle on bass, and Joe Smith on drums).