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The Legendary Johnny O’Neal

Celebrates Nat King Cole’s Centennial

Celebrate 100 years of Nat “King” Cole with an evening led by fellow piano/vocal master Johnny O’Neal. A true New York City jazz veteran, O’Neal has worked with artists and groups like Clark Terry, Ray Brown, Sonny Stitt, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and Milt Jackson's quartet. For anyone who loves Nat “King” Cole, this will be a standout performance.

There are so many outstanding things about Johnny’s playing... Number one: the touch. Johnny has a million-dollar touch. Very few people touch the piano like that to get that kind of sound and feeling… The other thing is his feeling of swing, which is so natural. Then there’s Johnny’s personality—so engaging. And Johnny can play a ballad like few people, if any.
— Mulgrew Miller

About Johnny

In addition to playing the role of Art Tatum in the blockbuster film “Ray “(2004), Johnny O’Neal is a seasoned pianist who has worked regularly with musicians and groups such as Clark Terry, Ray Brown, Sonny Stitt, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and Milt Jackson’s quartet. The late, great Mulgrew Miller said of O’Neal: “In my generation of musicians, there are two who are probably the most naturally talented. They both happen to be from Detroit. One is Kenny Garrett…The other is pianist Johnny O’Neal. There are so many outstanding things about Johnny’s playing… Number one: the touch. Johnny has a million dollar touch. Very few people touch the piano like that to get that kind of sound and feeling…. The other thing is his feeling of swing, which is so natural. Then there’s Johnny’s personality – so engaging. And Johnny can play a ballad like few people, if any. I’ve always held his talent in the highest regard, and I think he’s a very special artist.”