Over the past four years, Michael McNeill has become an integral part of the creative music scene in Buffalo. His imaginative piano playing has found a home alongside jazz players ranging from Maynard Ferguson-alumnus Bruce Johnstone (on Kelly Bucheger’s House of Relics) to local underground hero Steve Baczkowski, and he has developed a personal voice on the harmonium in crossover ensembles led by percussionist Ravi Padmanabha. McNeill performs composed music with the Wooden Cities New Music Collective, co-leads a jazz quintet with the polymath drummer John Bacon, and has collaborated with trumpet legend Paul Smoker on projects of standards and of original compositions. He also composes for, plays with, and facilitates the New Buffalo Jazz Octet, an ensemble made up of “…a veritable who’s who list of killer regional jazz players…” (Buffalo News).
Passageways, McNeill’s debut CD as a leader, features renowned improvisers Ken Filiano (bass) and Phil Haynes (drums) on a program of original compositions.