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Latest News & Articles

Read the latest news and articles. Click on any headline below to read the full story. Browse the Archive for older stories. You can also click here to read all of Dean's published articles.

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February 18, 2012: Latest News
Video of Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble premiere performance, with visiting artist Dean McNeill

Watch a video of the premiere performance of the Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble featuring works by Michelle Gregoire, Jon McCaslin, and Dean McNeill.

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June 26, 2011: Latest News
Dean McNeill and Metro Jazz Ensemble perform with pianist Oliver Jones

To commemorate the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival's 25th anniversary, pianist Oliver Jones premiered a special composition called Saskatchewan Suite, which he performed with Dean McNeill and Saskatoon's Metro Jazz Ensemble.

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February 25, 2011: Latest News
Dean McNeill part of Art Pepper + 11 Tribute Project, listen at CBC Radio Concerts on Demand

The Art Pepper + 11 Tribute Project concert is now posted on CBC Radio 2 Concerts On Demand website. The concert was recorded January 25, 2011 at Quance Theatre, University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and features the music of the great American jazz saxophonist Art Pepper.

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June 17, 2010: Latest News
U of S alumni get to groove again

A decade of musical history will juke and jive on Saturday when former students return to the University of Saskatchewan music department for a reunion concert of the U of S Jazz Ensemble.

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June 14, 2010: Latest News
U of S Jazz Ensemble CD release and joint Jazz Ensemble Alumni Concert, June 19, 2010

Alumni Concert: This first-every U of S Jazz Ensemble alumni concert will reunite members of this ensemble who have performed on our Department of Music "Bumper Crop" I, II, III, IV, and/or V jazz CDs, released over the past 10 years.

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December 09, 2009: Latest News
Mixing Musical Colours: Music grad builds on success by embracing diversity

Composer/trumpet player Dean McNeill describes his newest CD, Mélange, as a musical mosaic. An eclectic blend of jazz and classical influences and experiences, it includes a collaboration with two-time Juno award winning pianist Jon Ballantyne.

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June 12, 2009: Latest News
Dean McNeill performs with 2009 National Youth Band of Canada on their Saskatchewan tour in May of 2009

Dean McNeill was the Yamaha solo artist performing with the 2009 National Youth Band of Canada on their Saskatchewan tour in May of 2009. This piece of music is entitled 'Kalla' and was composed by Allan Gilliland specifically for Dean and this tour. This was the premier performance of 'Kalla' (click and listen to the mp3 of 'Kalla').

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January 21, 2009: Latest News
Listen to Dean McNeill in concert on CBC.ca, playing with Jack Semple, Carlo Petrovitch, and Arlan Kopp

This year Dean released a CD where he performed with jazz pianist Jon Ballantyne and classical pianist Bonnie Nicholson. In this concert we'll hear Dean playing both trumpet and flugel horn on some of his jazz favorites as well as an original composition. He's joined by guitarist Jack Semple, Carlo Petrovitch on bass and drummer Arlan Kopp.

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November 05, 2008
Album Review, Atlanta Audio Society

This Mélange has many colors, the album seems to breathe the air of wide open spaces and boundless possibilities

Dean McNeill has subtitled Mélange "New Music for Trumpet and Piano." The key word here is "new," for in this album McNeill and several of his friends explore the borderland where jazz and classical genres meet and coexist happily. Perhaps it is fitting that McNeill himself teaches at the University of Saskatchewan, in the Canadian prairie province of that name, for as with a prairie, Mélange seems to breathe the air of wide open spaces and boundless possibilities. Read more >

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May 30, 2008
Album Review, by Nick Lavigne, Canadian Association for Jazz Education

Prairie Fire brings together some of Canada's best musicians

Composer, arranger, and trumpeter Dean McNeill has accomplished not one, but two colossal tasks with his release of Prairie Fire. Firstly, he has created some incredible works of art with his original compositions and in his arrangements of other musicians' pieces. Secondly, he has brought some of Canada's best musicians... Read more >

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January 28, 2008: Latest News
New album, Mélange: Music for Trumpet and Piano, is coming soon

Dean McNeill's latest recording project, Mélange: Music for Trumpet and Piano, features Jon Ballantyne (Jazz Piano), Bonnie Nicholson (Classical Piano), and Dean playing Trumpets and Flugel Horn.

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October 17, 2007
Album Review, by Jack Bowers, All About Jazz

Prairie Fire is a pleasurable and rewarding contemporary big-band album

Dean McNeill, who teaches at the University of Saskatchewan in western Canada, brought together some of the most accomplished jazz musicians in his neighborhood to produce this emphatically bright and stylish album, which reminds one more of the spectacular aurora borealis than it does a prairie fire. Read more >

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October 17, 2007
Album Review, by Ray Baril, Director of the McEwan College Jazz Ensemble

Prairie Fire, musical depth and maturity evident in playing and composition

After four recorded ventures as director of the University of Saskatchewan Jazz Ensemble, Dean McNeill makes his first outing as director, composer, arranger, and project manager of his own ensemble made up of some of Canada's finest jazz innovators. Read more >

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August 10, 2007: Press Release
New CD sparks creative energy for jazz composer Dean McNeill: Prairie Fire latest recording project from contemporary artist, ensemble

Where there's smoke, there's fire... Prairie Fire, in this case, a smokin' hot collection of new works from jazz composer and trumpeter Dean McNeill. Head of the Department of Music at the University of Saskatchewan, McNeill has created a wholly Canadian project that showcases some of the best talent on the national jazz scene. To be released August 25, Prairie Fire features a mix of original music and new arrangements of well-known standards in this much anticipated studio recording. Read more >

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Article by Dean McNeill

JAZZ ADVOCACY: How can we support the overall growth of jazz music in our country?

There are many ways in which the growth of jazz music can and should be supported in Canada. Providing adequate teacher training in jazz-specific courses at the post secondary level is one important way to sustain and develop jazz music, over the long term, in Canada in the twenty-first century. Read more >

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Article by Dean McNeill

Enlightenment gleaned from slush pump basics

Since the Fifth Grade, I have been a trumpet keener. I intentionally make a distinction here between being keen, and being good, as it was some time before I could claim an association with the latter. My keenness has not diminished in my adult years and as a result I find myself still deeply interested in the trumpet from a variety of perspectives, which primarily include performance and pedagogy. Read more >

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Article by Dean McNeill

IAJE-Canada Article: Etiquette for sitting in on the bandstand: A topic more important than students might think

Recently I have attended a few jazz jam sessions in clubs across Western Canada. During these jams it has occurred to me that many young people sitting in with professional bands do not know some of the basic musical etiquette commonly observed by professional musicians in such situations. Read more >

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Article by Dean McNeill

Why record a CD with your band? What really is the point?

For the past 5 years the University of Saskatchewan Jazz Ensemble 1 has gone into our makeshift recording studio to record some of our current concert repertoire. Every few years we release an independently published compilation CD. To date we have released 2 such CDs respectively entitled Bumper Crop and Bumper Crop II-Outstanding in their Fields. Read more >

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