Congratulations to Jim McNeely, BMI composer/arranger/musician and co-Musical Director of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, on his two Grammy nominations. The Dacapo album Nice Work, by the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra and Jim McNeely, is nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and McNeely is cited as the arranger of "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (track from Nice Work) in the Best Instrumental Arrangement category.
The Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra includes: Jim McNeely (conductor, piano); Lars Lindgren, Benny Rosenfeld, Jesper Riis (trumpet); Vincent Nilsson (trombone); Michael Hove (reeds); Jonas Johansen (drums).
McNeely began his association with the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in the early 1990s, and has served as Musical Director, with Manny Albam, for the past five years. The Workshop, which was founded in 1998 and is directed by Burt Korall, incorporates a beginners and an advanced class that meet weekly in the New York office. Each year, the works of the classes are performed by the BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra, the beginners work being given at least one reading and the advanced group having an annual concert.
McNeely, who received a B. M. degree from the University of Illinois, also teaches a course on the Jazz Orchestra as well as piano and composition at the NYU Department of Music and Performing Arts. He received his first critical acclaim as pianist with Ted Curson and Chet Baker. He was the last pianist in the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra prior to Jones's departure
A former member of the Phil Woods Quintet, McNeely has released eight albums under his own name and performed on dozens more; his compositions have been covered by numerous artists, as well. McNeely currently leads his own trio and is closely associated with artists such as Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Dave Liebman, and Adam Nussbaum.
He composes and arranges for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band under the direction of Jon Faddis. He also continues a long association with several European orchestras, notably the West German Radio (WDR) Big Band (a recording features John Scofield) and the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra.