Chip McNeill is currently an Associate Professor and Chairman of Jazz Studies at The University of Illinois. He was formerly an Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Florida International University. Prior to that he was an Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Virginia Tech University for six years. He was formerly the Musical Director and jazz tenor saxophonist for Grammy Award Winning recording artist Arturo Sandoval and has recorded with Arturo on his CD “Americana” as well as the Grammy Award winning release "Hot House" on Encoded Music. The “Hot House” CD won a Grammy Award for “Best Latin Jazz Performance”. Prior to Arturo Sandoval, Mr. McNeill was the Musical Director and jazz saxophonist for legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. Mr. McNeill produced, wrote, and performed on six CD's with Maynard Ferguson including his final one “The One And Only” (06), “Swingin' For Schurr”('01) Concord Jazz with guest jazz vocalist Diane Schurr, "One More Trip To Birdland" ('96) Concord Jazz, "These Cats Can Swing" ('95) Concord Jazz, "Live From London" ('94) Warner Bros. Jazz, and "Footpath Cafe"('93) Avion Jazz.
Mr. McNeill has performed at countless jazz festivals and clubs around the world such as The North Sea Jazz Festival (The Hague Holland), The Montreaux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), The Monterey Jazz Festival (U.S.A.), The Noto Jazz Festival (Japan), The Wigan Jazz Festival (England), The Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), The Wiesen Jazz Festival (Austria), The Immatra Jazz Festival (Finland), The Warsaw Jazz Festival (Poland), The Capital Jazz Festival (U.S.A.), The Charlotte Jazz Festival (U.S.A.) and clubs such as The Blue Note (New York City), The Blue Note (Tokyo), The Blue Note (Osaka), Blues Alley (Washington D.C.), The House of Blues (Los Angeles), and The Jazz Showcase (Chicago).
Mr. McNeill's list of recording/performing credits as a jazz tenor saxophonist have included such notables as Arturo Sandoval, Nat Adderley, David Liebman, Maynard Ferguson, Duffy Jackson, Ira Sullivan, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Ted Shumate and Larry Willis. His past performances include numerous world tours with Arturo Sandoval, Maynard Ferguson, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band, and the North Texas State 1 o'clock Lab Band. Mr. McNeill's latest CD's include “Radio Improved” (quartet), “Four Steps 3” (quintet-Capri Records) and “The Whirl” (quintet-Armoured Records) all under his own name.
He has also performed with many of the worlds' top jazz artists and entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine, Wynton Marsalis, Randy and Michael Brecker, Nat Adderley, David Liebman, Bob Mintzer, Slide Hampton, Tom Harrell, Paquito D'Riviera, and Ira Sullivan. Special venues he has performed at include Carnegie Hall (U.S.), Town Hall (Sydney, Australia), the London Palladium and numerous jazz radio and television productions in Europe, Japan, U.K., India, and Indonesia.
Mr. McNeill currently tours with Arturo Sandoval and Natalie Cole as well as with his own small groups in addition to his duties as Chairman of Jazz Studies at The University of Illinois. A graduate of the University of Miami (Master in Studio Jazz Composition), he also enjoys an active performance schedule as a solo saxophonist, clinician, composer/arranger, and pianist.