Neil Brathwaite was raised in Montreal, Quebec, with West Indian roots from Barbados. Introduced at the age 7 to classical music, he studied piano with Daisy Sweeney (the sister of Oscar Peterson) and was initiated into jazz by listening to the music his father played in the house. Brathwaite began playing alto sax in high school while getting experience playing with local R&B bands in Montreal. He later went on to complete his music education in Toronto attending the Humber College music program and studying under Pat LaBarbera.
Throughout his career he has worn many hats including leading a successful commercial R&B act B-Fun with their versiion of Bruce Cockburn's “Wondering Where the Lions Are”). He's also been the co-host and musical director for a Canadian television show (The Toronto Show) and co-founder and musical director of the former Toronto annual urban showcase Bump N' Hustle.
Brathwaite has performed and recorded in various musical genres including R&B, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Country, Rock and World Music. Amongst the artists that he has worked with includes George Clinton, Danilo Perez, Wynton Marsalis, Salome Bey, Deborah Cox, Molly Johnson, Slim Gaillard, Kelis, The S.O.S. Band, Gerald Levert, KC and JoJo,