The Neal Kirkwood Big Band

Website for composer/pianist Neal Kirkwood

Neal Kirkwood’s 16-piece ensemble, featuring New York’s crème de la crème of jazz musicians, was formed in 2012. The ensembles repertoire centers around Kirkwood’s vast catalog of compositions, with forays into the music of Gil Evans, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

Kirkwood’s compositions draw from Duke Ellington’s melodic, harmonically rich music, and other influences include Gil Evans, Igor Stravinsky, and Bela Bartok. Music critic Tim Page describes Kirkwood’s music as “simultaneously modernist and immediately appealing: lyrical, gracious and rhapsodic in character.”