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Michael O'Neill: News

Michael O'Neill receives 2010 Grammy Nominee Participation Award - April 16, 2011

I'm proud to announce I have received a 2010 Grammy Nominee Participation Award for my work as Associate Producer on George Benson's "Songs and Stories" album.The album was nominated in the Best Surround Album category.This came out of sessions I produced with George in Sao Paolo,Brazil with some of the finest Brazilian musicians.The executive producer John Burk and main producer Marcus Miller selected 2 songs from the Brazilian recordings,the James Taylor classic "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" and the Christopher Cross hit "Sailin".If you haven't heard this recording I highly recommend it.

Curacao North Sea Jazz Fest - September 12, 2010

I returned from Curacao Sept.4th after doing a show there with George Benson.The North Sea Jazz model continues it's expansion around the globe with the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival,a 2 day event held at the World Trade Center in Willemstadt,Curacao.It was a fabulous collection of artists featuring a distinct Latin flavor because Curacao is a Latin based country settled by the Dutch.American artists George Benson,Natalie Cole,Lionel Richie,John Legend,and Raul Midon joined a roster of Latin based groups such as Luis Enrique,Sierra Maestra,Michel Camillo,Sergio Mendes,Giovanca,India,African bassist,Richard Bona and European group Simply Red.Add to that some home grown Curacaon bands and you had an incredible spicy soup of tasty tones.I particularly enjoy interfacing with all the World musicians I can as it gives me an expanded and unique view of the world today.To sum it up "We are much more the same than different,only you might not know that from the various sounds that we create".

Back from George Benson Tour - August 3, 2010

Just got back from a tour with George Benson that took us through Europe and ended in Angola.The beginning and ending of this tour could not have been more contrasting.We started in St.Tropez in the French Riviera,worked our way through incredible places in France,Italy,Spain,Sardignia,Corsica before hitting Angola,a country that only 8 years ago saw an end to it's 40 years of civil war.Angola is a Portuguese colony,so Portuguese is spoken there.Going way back native Angolans were taken to Brazil as slaves and brought with them their native music "Semba" the predeccesor to "Samba".Amazing what knowing a little bit of history can do for your outlook on the world.For 3 days at the Angola Jazz Festival I got to hang out with the likes of Joe Sample,Randy Crawford,Ronny Jordan,and the incredible Chucho Valdez and his band.I still feel like I'm going to school and being enriched with new knowledge all the time.

Brand new Single - August 1, 2010

Michael O'Neill has just released a brand new single featuring his jazz guitar talent with a guest appearance by longtime musical cohort,pianist Freddie Ravel.The song is entitled" Beans n Grease",a mid tempo bluesy jazz piece with a hint of Latin underneath.It's available for download only at CD Baby.com or I Tunes.

New Single for Download - June 8, 2010

Michael O'Neill & Stephen Bray ( Madonna,The Color Purple ) have formed a songwriting/production alliance called "The Progressives".The alliance is focused on topical writing for this era.The first single out of the box is "Bankster Billionaire",a song about the extreme individuals in the banking industry who will stop at nothing to get more and more,and more is never enough ! Available for download only at CD Baby.com and I Tunes.

Capetown Jazz Festival - April 3, 2010

Michael O'Neill just performed at the Capetown Jazz Festival in South Africa with George Benson April 3rd & 4th.While the trip took more than 30 hours to get there the payoff was well worth it.Michael says " the atmosphere was incredible getting to interface with musicians from all over the globe.The bands from the African continent were especially exciting to listen to and talk with,finding many common things with my African counterparts.A trip to the waterfront at the Cape was just gorgeous and the views of Table Mountain from the hotel were breathtaking".
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