born on 18/5/1949 in Chicago, IL, United States
Jim McNeely (born May 18, 1949) is a Grammy award-winning jazz pianist, composer, and arranger.
McNeely was born in Chicago, Illinois. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Illinois, and moved to New York City in 1975. In 1978 he joined the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band. 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). In 1981 he began a 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. In 1996 he re-joined the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra as pianist and composer-in-residence, a position that he still holds. From 1998 to 2003 he was chief conductor of the DR Big Band in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is currently chief conductor of the HR (Hessischer Rundfunk) Big Band in Frankfurt, Germany. He continues to appear as guest with many of Europe's leading jazz orchestras such as The Metropole Orchestra (The Netherlands) and The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra (Sweden). McNeely also leads his own tentet, his own trio, and appears as soloist at concerts and festivals worldwide. He has recorded more than a dozen CDs under his own name, earning nine Grammy nominations between 1997 and 2006. In 2008, he was awarded a Grammy with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra for their album Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard (Planet Arts).
McNeely serves on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music, William Paterson University, and is musical director of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop.
From 2011 on McNeely will conduct the hr-Bigband, the bigband of the Hessische Rundfunk in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
A former resident of Montclair, New Jersey, he currently resides in Maplewood, New Jersey. He has two siblings, a younger sister and a younger brother.
- Rain's Dance, SteepleChase Records, 1976
- The Plot Thickens, Muse Records, 1979
- Pure Getz, Concord Jazz, 1982
- From the Heart, Owl Records, 1984
- Winds of Change, SteepleChase, 1989
- East Coast Blow Out (w/WDR Big Band), Lipstick Records, 1989
- Jigsaw (w/Stockholm Jazz Orch.), Dragon Records, 1991
- Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 20, Concord Jazz, 1992
- Sound Bites (w/Stockholm Jazz Orch.), Dragon Records, 1997
- Lickety Split (w/Vanguard Jazz Orch.), New World Records, 1997
- Nice Work (w/Danish Radio Big Band), Dacapo Records, 2000
- Group Therapy (Jim McNeely Tentet), OmniTone, 2001
- The Power and the Glory (w/Danish Radio Big Band), Storyville Records, 2001
- Play Bill Evans (w/Danish Radio Big Band), Stunt Records, 2002
- In This Moment (w/Adam Nussbaum, Lennart Ginman), Stunt Records, 2003
- Up From the Skies (w/Vanguard Jazz Orch.), Planet Arts, 2006
- Dedication Suite (w/Danish Radio Big Band), Cope Records, 2006
- Paul Klee (w/Swiss Jazz Orch.), Mons Records, 2006
- Boneyard (w/Kelly Sill, Joel Spencer), Origin Records, 2006
- Remember the Sound (w/George Robert Jazztet), TCB Records, 2008
- A Single Sky (Dave Douglas & Frankfurt Radio Big Band), Greenleaf Music, 2009
- Quest for Freedom (David Liebman, Richie Beirach & Frankfurt Radio Big Band), Sunnyside Records, 2010
- Wise, Robert. "Eclectic Sounds of New Jersey, Echoing From Coast to Coast", The New York Times, February 8, 2004. Accessed August 18, 2012. "Nominated in various jazz categories are the saxophonist and Newark native Wayne Shorter; the pianist Keith Jarrett, from western New Jersey; the percussionist and Newark resident Stefon Harris; and the pianist, composer and arranger Jim McNeely, of Montclair, has been nominated for best instrumental arrangement for an album by Renee Rosnes and the Danish Radio Big Band."
- The Official Jim McNeely Website
- The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
- The BMI Jazz Composers Workshop
- The HR Big Band
- Study scores by Jim McNeely
- Jim McNeely interview by Ethan Iverson