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Johnny O'Neal 35 Years of Tigertail


Saturday, October 11, 2014, 9:00 pm


$25 general admission
$50 VIP ticket, table seating s

Note that this event already took place

Miami Dade County Auditorium
On Stage Black Box
2901 West Flagler Street


Miami Dade County Auditorium has
a large, free, secure parking lot.
Click here for a Google map

JOHNNY O'NEAL: Solo Jazz Piano

"One of the best kept secrets in New York, Johnny O'Neal sings like Joe Williams and plays piano like Art Tatum ... He can rock a room like a rocker, serenade it like a classic crooner, or swing it like he's on a playground." – Bluenote Jazz Festival program notes

Johnny O'Neal is an American neo-bop jazz pianist and vocalist. His playing ranges from technically virtuosic stride to tender ballad interpretations. Though unique in style, he is influenced by many jazz elders, including Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum. After moving from his hometown of Detroit to Alabama and then to New York City, he performed with Clark Terry in 1981 and landed a regular job at the Blue Note, accompanying such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, Nancy Wilson, Lionel Hampton, Anita O'Day, Russell Malone, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell. He was a member of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers for two years from 1982-1983 and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1985. Largely self-taught, he doesn't read music, but Johnny has a repertoire of about 1,500 songs stored in his memory, many including lyrics. On the recommendation of Oscar Peterson, O'Neal portrayed Art Tatum in the 2004 movie Ray, convincingly recreating Tatum's sound on the song "Yesterdays".

After being mugged outside his Harlem apartment in 1986, he left New York and spent the next two decades performing in relative obscurity, eventually developing AIDS. He returned to New York in 2010 and began playing in popular jazz clubs such as Small's and Smoke as his health returned. His career was propelled by a May, 2014, New York Times article titled "A Piano Great Is Back, Singing a Gusty Blues." "My phone has been ringing off the hook since that article," he told Tigertail when we spoke to him after reading it.

photo by Brad Berger

O'Neal loves playing solo, and loves playing in South Florida. In the past decade, he has graced the stages of the now-defunct Van Dyke Cafe and Arturo Sandoval's Jazz Club, and sailed on the Jazz Cruise in 2007.

"I'm totally in the moment; I have no set list," he told a reporter at Smalls Jazz Club in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. "I never know what I'm going to play until I get onstage."

Read more about Johnny O'Neal

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