Born: July 10, 1979 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Winner of the 1999 National Trumpet Competition in Washington, DC, Andrew Neesley is a rising star among jazz trumpet players. DownBeat magazine has just awarded Andrew Neesley Best Engineered Studio Recording for an album he is presently completing. This past summer, Andrew had the rare oppourtunity to perform as guest soloist with the Brass Band of Battle Creek. Alongside Wycliffe Gordon, Andrew performed his own arrangement of Stardust to a capacity crowd of 2000 people. Most recently, Andrew was selected for the 2003 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer's Award for a work written for jazz ensemble entitled Nees Pleez.
Though only twenty-two years old, Andrew Neesley has met with the acclaim of such artists from Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary, to jazz trumpet player Jon Faddis. Vernon Howard, Director of Jazz Studies at the Interlochen Arts Camp, commented that he feels the same way about Mr. Neesley as he did about Byron Stripling twenty years ago.
Comfortable in a wide variety of styles, Andrew Neesley can be heard in jazz clubs and concert halls throughout the nation. In addition to his performing, he also is a composer and arranger. His work is now published under Really Good Music, LLC, whose roster includes Geoff Keezer, Mike Mossman, Al Cobine, and David N. Baker.
Andrew was selected to participate in Betty Carter's 2001 and 2002 Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. There he performed two concerts featuring his own and other's compositions aired live on the Internet and on BET on Jazz. He performed for the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Residency Program held in Aspen, Colorado in July 2001, Christian McBride, musical director. More recently, he was invited to participate in the 2002 Steans Institute for jazz at Ravinia in Chicago, Illinois, under the direction of David Baker.
Andrew began his musical journey with the violin at age four. He attended the Interlochen Arts Camp where he finished eight summers of intense musical study. At Interlochen, he began his love affair with the trumpet, which led him to jam with such jazz greats as Slide Hampton and Byron Stripling.
He has had the honor of performing in Carnegie Hall with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. He competed as one of four finalists in the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Contest held in May 1999. Other honors include being named the 1994 National Band Association Band Musician of the Year at the Interlochen Arts Camp, and being named the first-place winner of the 1997 Unlimited Jazz Limited Scholarship Competition. He has performed with Jon Faddis, Lewis Nash, Christian McBride, Wycliffe Gordon, Byron Stripling, Slide Hampton, Carl Allen, Ingrid Jensen, Ed Calle, Jason Marsalis, Bill Reichenbach, Chris Botti, the Brass Band of Battle Creek, Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary, and the Roots.
Not limiting himself to performing, Andrew is an active participant in education. He maintains a large private lesson studio as well as having joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin - Stout where he ran the jazz ensemble and combo program from 2001-03.
In 1997 he performed with folk legend Peter Yarrow and opened for James Taylor and Shawn Colvin in Telluride, Colorado; in 1999 he performed with the Roots in Milwaukee, WI.
Andrew recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. There he was a member of the Grammy-nominated Jazz Ensemble I. They have recieved the DownBeat award for Best College Big Band three times in the last five years. He also hosted his own live radio show, from The Stone's Throw, broadcast on public radio WUEC 89.7 featuring jazz musicians from across the nation.
Presently, Andrew is a scholarship student at the Manhattan School of Music where he is a student of Michael Abene.