Gordon McNeil

Gordon McNeil graduated from Newcastle College with a 1st class degree in Jazz & Commercial Music in 1990. Through the 90s he worked as MD/saxes/flute/clarinets on cruise ships & hotels around the world, and spent time working in the U.S. & Phuket in Thailand. Japan, Hawaii, Croatia & Alaska were the only places not visited!

In the 2000s Gordon became an instrumental instructor in Dundee. His students have attained ABRSM grade 8s on flute, sax, clarinet, oboe & bassoon as well as many jazz grade 5s including piano & trombone! He also became a regular at (good friend) Bill Kyle’s Jazz Bar in Edinburgh, sharing the stage with Jim Mullen, Valery Ponomarev (Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers) & a great night with Frank Gambale sitting in, not to mention getting to play with & befriend many of Scotland’s greats.

Gordon played Tenor 1 with the great Tommy Sampson’s big band & the RSNO big band, also had the pleasure of gigging with Roger Ball & Molly Duncan of the Average White Band. Gigs with the Salsa Celtica big band & the Peatbog Faeries being other highlights. Played in Sacramento jazz festival in California & a run at a Las Vegas casino with Fat Sam’s jump jive outfit.

Gordon has performed in the band for 15 pantomimes, depped on many theatre shows – the favourite being the ‘Rat Pack’ featuring the amazing Stephen Triffit as Frank Sinatra.

In 2014 Gordon was invited to be the guest soloist for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra’s homage to the great Michael Brecker – “an awesome, challenging & emotional experience.” He was then invited to be a course tutor from 2015 to 2019.

2015 – Camerata Orchestra gigs with the Happy Mondays & New Order.
2016 – started the Dundee (schools) Soul Jazz Collective with a focus on teaching young students classic jam session tunes & encouraging improvisation.
2017 – recorded “Silver Lined” CD of original material, a collaboration with Scottish guitar legend Malcolm MacFarlane.
Performed in studio sessions with Vinnie Colaiuta, Snarky Puppy leader Mike League & gospel organ master Bobby Sparks on Natalia Maroquinn’s recording ‘Indigo’ (the making of which is on Youtube) also featured sax solo on the track ‘X’.
2018 – performed a mini tour in Scotland with the incredible Lianne Carroll culminating in an invite to join Lianne at a packed Ronnie Scott’s.
Received national tv & radio coverage for work mentoring young autistic Scottish drummer Ciaran Robert Osterberg towards his dream of studying at Berklee college of music in Boston – very proud to hand the mentoring role over to Grammy award winning drum legend Antonio Sanchez & see Ciaran ‘smashing it’ in classes with jazz titans such as Terri Lynne Carrington & Joe Lovano.
Started work with Trombone legend Rick Taylor & Malcolm MacFarlane on the ‘Soulbook’ project: tragically Rick passed away this year.
2019 – MD & arranger for Spatz showband “Vegas” theatre tour, a 9 piece band with 4 horns in the style of Paul Simon & Sting – classic rock & pop with heavy jazz influences, featuring the musicians in the band individually.
2020 – honourable mention in the Glasgow Herald for the Celtic Connections “Bruce Springsteen” tribute, filling the shoes of the Big Man – Clarence Clemmons, another great homage.
2021 – exited the Lockdown deputising in the horn section on the Fratellis’ UK tour & with Glasgow Soul brothers Hue & Cry.
Started monthly zoom lessons studying jazz theory & improv. with one of the G.O.A.T. jazz musicians – guitarist Mike Stern.