NEIL DIXON SMITH

I am a solo guitarist based in Chicago. I have been performing professionally as a soloist since 2004, most often providing live instrumental background music for events of all types: dinner/cocktail parties, gallery openings, corporate receptions, fundraising banquets, wine tastings, memorial services, and weddings. Increasingly I have also been performing in concert settings, including esteemed Chicago venues such as MayneStage, Uncommon Ground and City Winery.
I love everything about being a solo guitarist – the physicality of the instrument itself, the range of emotion and energy, the endless variety of techniques and ways to produce different sounds and rhythms – and I was lucky enough to have been presented with a path to learning music that I believe exercises the full range of expression the instrument has to offer.
I perform a very unique repertoire of “old school” popular, classical and folkloric guitar music from Latin America, along with some great works of Spanish classical guitar. I learned this music from a decade-long apprenticeship with a master guitarist from Chile, Alfonso Chacon (1934-2011).
Anytime I play you’ll be hearing a mix of music from Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile and Puerto Rico. It may be high energy cocktail party music, or mellow and romantic. The music I play is rootsy and tropical while also elegant and graceful. I play to the purpose of the event and the energy of the room.
My mission as a guitarist is twofold: first, musically, to go deeper into Afro/Latin rhythms, and continue to learn classic tunes within styles such as cumbia, bossa nova, son, milonga, joropo, and festejo developing new finger-picking techniques that I also use to create original music. Secondly, professionally, to continue to bring this music to every conceivable live performance space the world has to offer: dining rooms, patios, concert halls, art galleries, restaurants, churches, conference rooms, you name it.
I perform solo, as well as in a duo with percussionist Janet Cramer as Neil & Janet de los EEUU. We released a debut EP called 2017 Demonstrations that I think pretty exciting music.
In 2014 I released my debut solo guitar album, a tribute to my mentor called “The Panamericanist: Compositions and Arrangements of Alfonso Chacón”, featuring solo guitar styles from across South America.
Through my studies and travels, I have fostered a great love of Latin American culture and, as a “North American,” I embrace the challenge of interpreting this work with passion and humility.
My mission is to bring live music back to intimate spaces and to introduce these guitar styles to new audiences and hopefully a new generation of guitarists.

Support us

Support Once


Support Monthly

$5.00 $10.00
$25.00 $50.00

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!