Jazz pianist Jim McNeely will be in residence at New England Conservatory during the week of December 6, working closely with students in masterclasses, coaching sessions, and performance. On Wednesday, December 8, he will lead a masterclass at 2 p.m. in the Keller Room. On Thursday December 9, he will appear in concert with the NEC Jazz Orchestra at 8 p.m. in NEC's Jordan Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.
McNeely received his first critical praise performing alongside trumpet greats Ted Curson and Chet Baker. A former member of the Stan Getz Quartet, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, and the Phil Wood Quintet, McNeely continues to work with his own trio. He serves as pianist and composer-in-residence with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and is the Permanent Chief Conductor of the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra. He also appears regularly with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.
McNeely's discography, both as leader and sideman, numbers over 30 discs, with two releases receiving multiple Grammy nominations (2001's Nice Work, and 2002's Group Therapy.)
Larry Kart, of the Chicago Sun Times, has written of McNeely's work: McNeely is a delight...having stated his graceful ideas, (he) almost literally pursues them across the keyboard until their prettiness has been burned away and what remains has the strength of structural steel." Bob Brookmeyer has said: Whatever the 'next step' is in music, I firmly believe he will be it. He has all the tools - imagination, technique, dreams, ambition..."
Passionate about the art of teaching, McNeely has conducted residencies at institutions throughout the U.S and Europe, and currently serves as co-director of the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop.
McNeely's masterclass and Jordan Hall concert are sponsored by NEC Board member Bruce Hauben and the Helen G. Hauben Foundation.
For more information, call the NEC Concert Line at (617) 585-1122 or visit NEC on the web at www.newenglandconservatory.edu/concerts.
ABOUT NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY
Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 750 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world. Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide. Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.
The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions. On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, contemporary improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors. Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes - thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.
NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year In Jordan Hall, its world-renowned, 100-year old, beautifully-restored concert hall. These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to opera scenes. Every year, NEC's opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.
NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top," a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by more than two hundred stations throughout the United States.