The Furman University Department of Music presents the Jim McNeely Jazz Trio Saturday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m. in Daniel Recital Hall.
The event is open to the public. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students.
McNeely was born in Chicago and moved to New York City in 1975. In 1978, he joined the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. He spent six years as a featured soloist with that band and its successor, Mel Lewis and the Jazz Orchestra (now The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra).
1981 saw the beginning of McNeely’s four-year tenure as pianist/composer with the Stan Getz Quartet. From 1990 until 1995 he held the piano chair in the Phil Woods Quintet. He now leads his own tentet, his own trio, and he appears as soloist at concerts and festivals worldwide.
McNeely’s reputation as composer/arranger and conductor for large jazz bands continues to flourish, earning him nine Grammy nominations. In 1996 he re-joined The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra as pianist and Composer-in Residence. He is also chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio (HR) Big Band.
Other recent work includes projects with the Danish Radio Big Band, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Metropole Orchestra (Netherlands), the Swiss Jazz Orchestra, and the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra. The New York Times has called his writing “exhilarating.” DownBeat says his music is “eloquent enough to be profound.”
McNeely has appeared as sideman on numerous recordings led by major artists such as Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Stan Getz, Bob Brookmeyer, David Liebman, Art Farmer, Robert Watson and Phil Woods. He has numerous albums under his own name. The latest is “Up from the Skies,” with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra on the Planet Arts label.
He serves on the faculties of both Manhattan School of Music and William Paterson University. He was musical director of the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop from 1991-2015. He has appeared at numerous college jazz festivals as performer and clinician and has been involved regularly with several summer workshops.
For more information about the event, contact the Furman University Music Department at 864-294-2086, and FurmanMusic@furman.edu.