Home » Jazz Musicians » Michael McNeill

Michael McNeill

Pianist Michael McNeill has cultivated a personal style that has found a home in contexts both mainstream and avant-garde, from the ethereal chamber-jazz sounds of resAUnance, to the post-bop energy of Kelly Bucheger's What Would Mingus Do?, and in his own music for his trio with veteran improvisers Ken Filiano (bass) and Phil Haynes (drums) and for the Buffalo Jazz Octet. His two CDs with Filiano and Haynes have drawn praise from critics in the US and abroad, who note that the band plays “thoughtful... interactive music that is seriously playful” (StepTempest), “brimming with intelligence and passion” (AllAboutJazz.com), and that the trio “has much to offer not only to jazz or classical music, but music as a whole” (Music On The Run, Brazil).

Other projects and collaborations have included concerts with Dave Ballou, Juini Booth, Joe Ford, Taylor Ho Bynum, Drew Gress, Charlie Kohlhase, Paul Smoker, and David Taylor. McNeill served as pianist and arranger on vocalist Mari McNeil's 2014 release Here Beneath The Blue and can be heard as a sideperson on Kelly Bucheger's 2012 CD House of Relics as well as four albums (1, 2, 3, 4) by percussionist Ravi Padmanabha. Forthcoming recordings include an album of duets with drummer/composer John Bacon and a live album from the Buffalo Jazz Octet.


Take Five With...
Album Review
Read more articles
“… blew me away with his debut (Passageways) and continues to impress… A-”
(Tom Hull) (See also: Tom Hull's "The Best Jazz Albums of 2015")

“* * * * … a simultaneously innovative and accessible album.”
(Hrayr Attarian, AllAboutJazz)

“Flight walks by the classic and the modern fluidly… proving that the Michael McNeill Trio has much to offer not only to jazz or classical music, but music as a whole. 4/5”
(Gabriel Carvalho, Music On The Run)

“ * * * * Brimming with intelligence and passion… Engaging from start to finish, Flight is one of those special albums can be enjoyed on many levels… with more of its secrets revealed with each listen.”
(Budd Kopman, AllAboutJazz)

“'Flight' is thoughtful music, interactive music that is seriously playful. … the listener will find much to ponder and enjoy each time the recording unfolds.”
(Richard Kamins, Step Tempest)

“For piano trios, the McNeill outfit as heard on the new album is one-of-a-kind, enormously talented and pushing the boundaries of the art in the best ways.”
(Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Music Review)

“… (The) juxtaposition of old vs. new and of catchy vs. chaotic creates an appealing tension from the way these diametrically opposed motivations work so well in tandem.”
(Daniel Sumner, Bird Is The Worm)

“McNeill is definitely a player with technique and a composer with ideas. Flight is definitely well worth checking out.”
(Robert Iannapollo, Cadence Magazine (April/May/June 2016))

“The trio creates some nice moods but also cooks. A very interesting record which will stand up to many plays.”
(Bernie Koenig, Cadence Magazine (April/May/June 2016))

Read more

Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


I've taught piano lessons since 2000 to students ranging in age from 5 to 83. I hold Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music. I currently teach at Pro Music Center in Clarence, NY, and have taught piano (primarily under the course heading "Jazz Keyboard Skills") at Villa Maria College since Fall 2012.


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

The First Journey

Self Produced



Jazz Dimensions



Self Produced



Self Produced


No Dice

From: Flight
By Michael McNeill

I'm OK Now

From: Passageways
By Michael McNeill


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.