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Full Professor Dean McNeill is a versatile Canadian trumpet player/composer who regularly performs in both the classical and jazz idioms as a soloist and as an ensemble leader. In 2013 the New Edmonton Wind Sinphonia’s performance of Allan Gilliland’s composition Kalla featured McNeill as guest soloist; Kalla won the 2013 Western Canadian Music Awards (W.C.M.A.) Classical Composition award and 2015 Dean performed Kalla at the World Associate of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conference in San Jose California with the UofS Wind Orchestra. Dean composed music for the CD Complete Rebirth of the Cool, a project headed by composer Jeff Presslaff, which created new repertoire as inspired by Miles Davis’ landmark recording Birth of the Cool. (e.g Presslaff’s project used the same instrumentation as Davis’ original recording). The Complete Rebirth of the Cool CD was also nominated for a W.C.M.A award in 2014.

Dean is currently the Artistic Director of the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra and the UofS Jazz Ensemble.

Give it a listen: Dean plays a collage of different musical styles

Dean has also lead many professional jazz and classical chamber ensembles (e.g. on Canadian tours and as recorded by CBC Radio), and, he has performed alongside the likes of many notable musicians such as Tommy Banks, Jon Balantyne, David Braid, Dee Daniels, Phil Dwyer, Mark Fewer, Hugh Fraser, Wycliffe Gordon, Kelly Jefferson, Molly Johnson, Ingrid Jensen, Oliver Jones, Al Kay, Jens Lindeman, Bob Mintzer, PJ Perry, Sam Pilafian, Denzal Sinclaire, Brad Turner, Carol Welsman, Allen Vizzutti among others. Dean has also been a member of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (SSO) trumpet section since 1998 and has guest conducted the SSO on pops concerts including KD Lang, Natalie McMaster and Eileen Laverty

Dean has taught a variety of brass and jazz courses at the University of Saskatchewan for the past 23 years while performing and adjudicating throughout Canada and the United States.

A Wedge mouthpiece and Yamaha trumpet artist Dean has lead many music eduction special projects such as the UofS’s Brass Days celebrations & High School Select-Jazz educational weekend. Dean has also been an educational contributor to the Saskatoon Jazz Society’s Jazz Ensemble Workshops (2013-2015), the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival’s Jazz Intensive student jazz camp (2000-current) and, the International Music Camp’s jazz week (i.e. conducting both student ensemble and IMC’s jazz faculty big band).

Dean is the recipient of the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival’s Special Recognition Award, UofS Student Union Teaching Excellence Award, UofS Dept. of Music’s Dwaine Nelson Teaching Award, and, a Downbeat Magazine big band arranging award.

Dean holds music degrees from the University of North Texas (Masters), McGill University (Undergraduate), and Grant MacEwan University (Music Diploma), he has released two critically acclaimed CDs as a leader Prairie Fire: Large Jazz Ensemble Music of Dean McNeill and Mélange: New Music For Trumpet and Piano ( and has studied jazz arranging privately with Paris Rutherford, George Blenheim, and, Ed Neumeister.

Dean’s past administrative activities include serving on the board of Jazz Canada (i.e. the Canadian chapter of the International Association of Jazz Education), Canadian Music Centre (i.e. Prairie Region Board), and, as Head of the Department of Music at the University of Saskatchewan (2004-2009).

Dean McNeill’s University of Saskatchewan Dept. of Music web page:

University of Saskatchewan Jazz Ensemble web page:

For More information on the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra visit:

Selection of Honours & Awards

  • Nominated for Western Canadian Music Award re ‘Rebirth of Cool’ CD for which McNeill contrbuted compositions and performed on (nomination only, did not win), awarded by Western Canadian Music Awards (W.C.M.A.), May 2014
  • UofS Student Union Teaching Excellence Award, awarded by UofS Student’s Union, March 2014
  • Western Canadian Music Award (piece “Kalla” composed by Allan Gilliland, performed by Dean McNeill won best classical composition, awarded by Western Canadian Music Awards (W.C.M.A), May 2013
  • Performed solo trumpet on ‘Kalla’ composed by Allan Gilliland, awarded by Western Canadian Music Awards, October 2012
  • Saskatchewan Jazz Festival’s Special Recognition Award, awarded by Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, April 2011
  • Wedge Trumpet Mouthpiece Endorsed Artist, awarded by Wedge Inc., July 2008
  • Yamaha Music Canada Performing Artist, awarded by Yamaha Music Corp., April 2004
  • UofS Dept. of Music Dwaine Nelson Teaching Award, awarded by UofS Dept. of Music students, April 2004
  • UofS Dept. of Music Dwaine Nelson Teaching Award, awarded by UofS Dept. of Music Students, April 1998

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