Dee Dee McNeil is An Educator, Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Journalist, Producer and Playwright.
She has performed in over two dozen countries worldwide, entertaining in a number of five-star hotels like The Westin, The Radisson, The Sheraton, The Four Seasons, The Hyatt, The Crowne Plaza and The Ritz Carlton. She sang for the King and Queen of Bangkok (by special request) at the Oriental Hotel in Thailand. As a contract songwriter for Motown Records in her native Detroit, Michigan, several world renowned artists have recorded her music including Diana Ross & the Supremes, Gladys Knight & the Pips, David Ruffin, Edwin Star, The Four Tops, Nancy Wilson, Rita Marley, Kiki Dee, Jonah Jones, Side Effect, Rapper ‘Styles’, L.L. Cool J and the historic Rap group, The Watts Prophets, of which Ms. McNeil was a member. She was one of the first women to Rap in the late ‘60s and early 70’s, speaking up for women’s rights. One of her raps about respect for women was used as the televised theme song during New Zealand’s Miss Universe Contest in 1983. However, her passion and artistry has always been closely linked to Jazz. In 2013, her songs were recorded and produced on Artist Peggy Duquesnel by Jeff Lorber and Jimmy Haslip and by artist, Robert McCarther in Detroit. Currently residing in Southern California, McNeil stays busy performing in local Jazz venues while also vocal coaching part time. From 2008 - 2009 she was Director of Artist Development at (CCM) California College of Music in Pasadena. She vocal coached at both PIMA (Pasadena International Music Academy) and CCM for six years. For 3 years she taught part time at MPA (Music Performance Academy) in Alhambra, CA until they closed. For (13) years she hosted a program entitled “Jazz ‘N You” that taught preschoolers and their families the three elements of jazz in libraries all across Los Angeles County. She wrote and produced two musical stage plays in Detroit and also produces well-attended concerts in the Southern California area. Her plays are based on historic figures and their music contributions. In 2001, she won the BET (Black Entertainment Television Network) “Jazz Discovery Competition” and appeared in concert on BET’s internationally syndicated television program. She’s a published journalist. Her articles and Cd reviews have appeared in Cadence Magazine, All About Jazz Newspaper and she has a blog on www.lajazz.com for the past 5 years that promotes both iconic and youthful jazz players with reviews and interviews. In 2009, her book “Haiku In My Neighborhood” was published, featuring the photography of Roland Charles. She is a published poet and her poems have appeared in a number of anthologies. She sometimes incorporates poetry into her musical performances, as she did in 2010 during a performance at the University of Sarjah in the United Arab Emirates. Her CD discography includes “Rappin’ Black in a White World” as part of the Watts Prophets Group – Ala Records; “Where Can Our Leaders Be?” Distributed by USA Records; “Live at Spaghettini” (a compilation CD); and “Live at the Discovery Theater with the Bill Dowdy Jazz Trio”. Bill Dowdy was the original drummer with The Three Sounds, featuring Gene Harris. Most recently her “STORYTELLER” CD was released in March of 2015. This album features McNeil’s original music and poetry and is already receiving rave reviews. The title tune is a dedication to one of her heroes, jazz vocalist, Ernie Andrews.
Clay Corley Sr.
My name is Clayton E. Corley, Sr. aka Big Trigger host and producer of an award winning internet program!