Born: February 3, 1970 Primary Instrument: Bass, acoustic
Neal Miner was introduced to the world of jazz by his first and foremost teacher, his father. Bill Miner’s love of jazz � he was a respected jazz record collector and discographer � kindled a passion in his son from an early age. Bill shared the music of his vast record collection, took Neal to clubs and concerts, and ensured he received the best musical instruction.
Born February 3rd, 1970 and raised in Manhattan, Neal received his high school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy, and attended the Manhattan School of Music. Most notable of his private teachers were classical bassist Orin O’Brien of the New York Philharmonic, and jazz bassist John Webber.
Neal started playing regularly at an Upper West Side jazz bar called Augie’s at the age of 19. It was there that he was initiated into the New York City jazz scene, backing many young jazz stars such as Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein, Brad Mehldau, Eric Alexander, Chris Potter, and Roy Hargrove, all of whom have gone on to garner critical acclaim.
Neal has been a favored sideman to many musicians at Smalls since the opening of the Greenwich Village jazz club, and its sister club, Fat Cat. He also regularly leads his own groups, showcasing his original compositions. With a desire to learn from his elders, Neal spent many Sunday evenings at Smalls backing up jazz veterans such as Bubba Brooks, Herman Foster, Eddie Locke, Dick Katz, John Bunch, Walter Perkins, Al Harwood, and Richard Wyands.
Since 1998 to the present, Neal has been fortunate enough to perform at major jazz clubs and festivals around the world accompanying jazz vocal innovator Jon Hendricks. In 2003 Neal backed Jon on camera and on the soundtrack of the Miramax film, People I Know, staring Al Pacino and Kim Basinger.
Over the years Neal has accompanied other jazz legends such as Annie Ross, James Moody, Bob Dorough, Bill Henderson, Frank Wess; new jazz stars like Jane Monheit, Stacey Kent, Ann Hampton Callaway, Dena DeRose, Loston Harris; and fashion celebrity and T.V. personality Isaac Mizrahi. Neal has also held the bass chair in large groups such as the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Big Band, and the Village Vanguard Jazz Band.
In 2000, his debut CD as a leader, The Real Neal, was released on the Juniper Records label and received stellar reviews and radio play across the country. This bass feature recording clearly demonstrates Neal’s close musical connection with tenor saxophonist Doug White, guitarist Chris Bergson, and drummer Joe Strasser, developed over several years of performing in Manhattan. To purchase this CD or other Juniper releases visit their website: http://www.juniperrecords.com.
In addition to performing, Neal was the founder and sole organizer of The Jazz Composer’s Forum that ran for more than 2 years at the Squire and Smalls jazz clubs. The Jazz Composer’s Forum featured original music from over 80 jazz Composers, and gave an opportunity for musicians, young and old, to have their compositions heard by the community.
In 2003, Neal launched his own business called Manhattan Jazz Events. This service offers New York City's top jazz instrumentalists and vocalists to play corporate and private events. In addition to running the business, Neal plays with, and leads, all of Manhattan Jazz Events’ various groups. To learn more about Neal's jazz planning services, visit his business’ website: http://www.manhattanjazzevents.com
In 2006, Neal’s latest CD, The Evening Sound, was released on the Smalls Records label. This recording captures a sound inspired by his close association with Smalls jazz club for more then a decade, and showcases Neal’s talents as a composer and bandleader. This CD can be heard on radio stations nationwide. To listen to selections from this CD, or to purchase, click here for more details http://www.nealminer.com/recordings.html
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