June-September, 2021: Been living and working in Colorado for the summer!
The good news is... LOTS of gigs here, both with my duo Brightenstar (featuring the talented and lovely Jenna Laurise) and as my solo act, Neil Z. It's been a blast!!!! And also seeing my family and friends after a LONG pandemic-related "layover" in Florida.
It's BRILLIANT to see live music come back STRONG after the initial shocks and waves of COVID. I'm well aware we're still not out of the woods....but we're learning to live WITH the virus. I think that's the key, cuz it's not going anywhere anytime soon....
My Ukulele Christmas EP was released in late August by Sparse Music, featuring my ukulele versions of holiday favorites, for music licensing for film, TV, radio, commercials etc. Check it out here: Simply Christmas Ukulele
I'll be back in Florida mid-October thru end of April 2022. Looking forward to an awesome gigging season there with my other musical wife Elizabeth in our duo Pairadeux, as well as solo work. Much more music to be made!!!
January 28, 2021: Well, I obviously haven't been updating this News page very often. So let's catch up:
- I now live and work in Florida. The original plan involved spending November-April here gigging with my former partner in Pairadeux, Elizabeth...then going back to Colorado the rest of the year. The pandemic changed all that. I arrived here in Nov. 2019, and then...There was obviously no live music ANYWHERE for a while, and even now there's much less than pre-pandemic. So I decided to stay here til I can safely travel, and til there is enough work in CO to...uhhh... WORK. For now the plan is return to CO June-October 2021 if the "landscape" looks viable and safe.
- Recently completed ukulele-based tracks for several new releases coming from a Germany-based music library supplying tunes to film, TV, radio and commercials, Sparse Music. Announcements coming soon...
- I teach guitar all virtually now, and it's going very well.
- TTFFO Studios did a remote recording project here in FL, a guided meditation CD: Heart Medicine by Meegan
- I'm still alive, not sick and life is good all things considered. :)
September 2, 2015: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes....My live duo The Jay and Neil Show has gone on indefinite hiatus. Jay is moving on to having a real life, and all power to him, the lucky bastard! So now it's full speed ahead with my new duo Brightenstar. Jenna Laurise and I have already gigged together a number of times, so we've "formalized" our relationship and shall be moving full steam ahead. Playing hits from the genres of pop, rock and a bit o' country, we're rendering everything from classic rock like Steve Miller Band, CCR, the Beatles and the like, to Coldplay, Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, and everything in between. Snappy logo too ;)
July 16, 2014: It's been an insanely busy summer. Lots and lots of gigs with my duo The Jay and Neil Show, plus my recording studio TTFFO Studios has been most active with a just-released full artist CD, one more about to be completed, and dozens of individual recordings, all in the last couple of months. Meanwhile Blythe Dechenne and I (together we're called "Where's Marie?") are working on R&B-flavored modern-yet-retro tracks that kick ass!
December 2013: I am officially signed to Atomica Music as a composer!
November 12, 2013: Just returned from the TAXI Road Rally in L.A., a huge convention for independent musicians and industry professionals. TONS of incredible networking, classes, advice, help, jamming and general hanging out! Still trying to recover...but let's just say that, armed with all I've learned and absorbed, this is gonna be a big year.
April 12, 2013: Just found out one of my compositions, "Ukecstatic", has been licensed to THREE ad campaigns! Loving it!
January 18, 2013: Just signed with another music library! Can't wait to start producing more tunes. They want ukulele-based stuff.
September 15, 2012: Jay and Neil, my other duo with partner Jay Ryan, has been renamed "The Jay and Neil Show." With Pairadeux ceasing to exist as a live act, as of this moment The Jay and Neil Show will be performing full-time in Colorado and surrounding states.
Check our Web site for updated schedule: www.thejayandneilshow.com
September 10, 2012: Well, time for the big announcement. Elizabeth, my 9-year partner in Pairadeux, is permanently relocating to Hawaii. So, as a live act, Pairadeux shall cease performing. We will continue to work long-distance on recording projects. It's been a great run. I love Elizabeth dearly and treasure every moment we performed together.
May 2012: Pairadeux will be gigging all summer in and around the Denver, Colorado area. Come see Elizabeth & I as we tear it up!
September 14, 2011: Pairadeux is taking a hiatus through early April 2012, while Elizabeth travels and I concentrate on composing for film and T.V. We have a few performances scheduled between now and April; check the schedule for updates.
HOWEVER I do like to keep busy doing live performances, so I've formed a duo "Jay and Neil", featuring longtime Denver musician Jay Ryan and myself. We'll be performing many of the songs Pairadeux performs, as well as some new stuff. Instrumentally, it'll be fun, as Jay plays bass and guitar, and sings. Soon a "Jay and Neil" link will appear on the main page, taking you to the Jay and Neil Web site where you can view our schedule etc.
ALSO I'll be doing some "Solo Group" gigs, as a one-man band. That link will also appear on the main page when ready.
PLACEMENTS COMING SOON:
Some of my music has been licensed for film/T.V./commercials; it's a big secret till they hit the airwaves. I'll announce when it happens. Yay!
July 21, 2011: Enjoying the sun and sand here in Hawaii. Just attended the Kauai Music Festival, and now enjoying a quick vacation. Hope to come home with an actual tan instead of burning to a crisp ;)
February 2, 2011: Just finished a short tour as guitarist with Celtic Pirate rock band Potcheen.
Played gigs in Jackson Hole, WY, Big Sky, MT and Salt Lake City, UT! Lots o' fun, Irish music fans really know how to have a good time. Will be gigging with the band on and off through March 2011. Check Potcheen's schedule and join us for debauchery and mayhem! YARRRRR!!
November 16, 2010: SIGNED! I am now officially a composer for Studio 51 Music, a music library currently supplying music to the Oprah organization (Harpo Productions.) Looking forward to composing lots of music for use in film & T.V.!
November 14, 2010: Back home in Colorado. Working on new music incorporating my new "little friend", a ukelele! Major announcement coming soon.
November 4, 2010: I'm in Los Angeles, working with the world's leading independent A&R company, TAXI. This fine and dedicated organization connects the independent musician community with film, T.V. and record industry projects large and small, in the U.S. and abroad. TAXI's renowned yearly convention, attracting about 2,500 attendees, and dubbed the "TAXI Road Rally", occurs Nov. 4-7, 2010 here in L.A. My musical partner Elizabeth (from my duo Pairadeux) and I have been asked to conduct a nightly Open Mic/Showcase during the convention. I also help out with some of their sound reinforcement. I'm proud and humbled by the opportunity.