Follow God and your heart and you'll always do exceedingly, abundantly, above what we
can ask or think. I'm a living testament and testimony to that, God has allowed me to
follow my dreams. Always remain around people that will sharpen your skill and keep you open to understanding different cultures. Sometimes, we can get boxed in our own little microcosm, but it's good
to be expansive and to listen to what other people are doing all across the world.
About Damien Sneed
An Award-Winning Artist Who Excels in Classical, Contemporary, Jazz, and Gospel MusicDamien Sneed is a rising star who is widely admired for his range of musical talents and his extraordinary achievements in his burgeoning career. A 2014 recipient of the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, which is presented annually to emerging Black and Latino leaders in classical music, Sneed has also garnered attention in a wide range of other musical genres, including jazz, gospel, pop and R&B. He has already been featured in the New York Times multiple times for his work in various genres. A pianist, organist, conductor, composer, producer, arranger, vocal coach and lecturer, Sneed has worked with jazz, classical, pop and R&B legends such as Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Carlos Santana, Ashford & Simpson, David Sanborn, and Kenny Burrell. He has served as music director for GRAMMY® Award-winning gospel artists, including The Clark Sisters, Richard Smallwood, Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark Sheard, Kim Burrell and Kierra Sheard. He also served as musical director for season four of Sunday Best, Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) hit gospel singing competition show. Sneed’s other professional affiliations have included The Juilliard School as a staff accompanist, Jazz at Lincoln Center as an artistic consultant, the City University of New York (CUNY) as a professor of music, New Brunswick Theological Seminary as an instructor, The Boys Choir of Harlem as an accompanist, the Martina Arroyo Foundation as an artistic consultant, and Yamaha as an endorsed Influential Artist. In September, 2014, he joined the faculty of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University.
Sneed brings his many talents in multiple genres to his solo projects. His first live solo recording project, Introspections LIVE, takes the listener on a musical journey through his development as a performer, and includes classical, jazz and gospel music. The recording features performances by nearly 50 instrumentalists and vocalists from various genres of music. Introspections LIVE, which was recorded at Columbia University’s Miller Theater in 2010, is a collection of musical reflections of the most memorable moments of his life—ones that have shaped his musical artistry.
An acclaimed artist with a global reach, Sneed has performed in Europe, Japan, the U.S. Virgin Islands, South America, Africa and over 42 states in the United States. He also has performed at important national and international events, including the 2012 Olympics in London and activities related to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Sneed performed in Washington, DC, at “A Celebration of America” at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Eisenhower Theater on the eve of President Obama’s inauguration and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2013. The event was hosted by Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance, Wynton Marsalis and retired United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Guest artists included Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Jessye Norman, Dave Brubeck, Paquito D’Rivera, Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and many more. In addition, in 2008, he conducted the world premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and a 150-voice choir. He has also conducted the Mass in London and on a 16-city U.S. tour.
Born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, Sneed was a musical prodigy who was playing the piano at three years old. He began playing at his family’s church when he was five years old, and by age eight, he was hired by the church as the music director for the senior choir. He is a graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts School, and he has studied at some of the finest conservatories and universities, including Howard University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance; the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University; New York University, where he earned a Master of Music in Music Technology: Scoring for Film and Multimedia; and the Manhattan School of Music. In 2010,he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Sacred Music from the Christian Bible Institute and Seminary.
About JPE: MasterClass
Created by David M. Wallace, this online series features some of the world's greatest artists and musicians sharing their knowledge and life experiences. MasterClass will be a series that seeks to make an impact by having renowned experts provide guidance and inspiration to up-and-coming artists.
This series is committed to creating a unique platform where top professionals come together to share their insights and offer a window into their creative process. Masterclass will develop into a valuable resource for the performing arts industry featuring videos and interviews.