With being compared to Duke Ellington and Maurice Ravel by The New York Times, Harold O'Neal FRSA, (producer, composer, and storyteller) has marked his place amongst this generation's greatest pianists and composers. He has worked and collaborated with artists in a variety of genres (U2, Bob Geldof, Damien Rice, Aloe Blacc, Ne-Yo, Busta Rhymes, Jay Z) and has been profiled by numerous publications and programs including Forbes, NPR's All Things Considered, Fortune, Studio 360, and the 92Y: 7 Days Of Genius. O'Neal has been awarded fellowship to the Royal Society of the Arts, with the Patron being Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and recently played a role as a creative expert for Pixar's Academy Award winning film, Soul.
"A piece of work that seems to be out there on its own. I have an idea where the music comes from, but I’m not hearing it anywhere else."
BEN RATLIFF, The New York Times
Harold has composed for various short films and documentaries, including films by Kanye West & Damon Dash, Facebook, The Blk Shp, and worked as a composer for the documentaries and featurettes produced for Disney's Tomorrowland (George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie), which were directed by Academy Award winning director Anthony Giacchino. He has shared his voice as a speaker, social entrepreneur, and storyteller with the world's leading platforms including TWIN Global, Salesforce, TEDx, The Future of Storytelling, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Davos Agenda: World Economic Forum. Harold’s unique voice in storytelling is a musical statement to the world. A story born from many profound life experiences.
"In addition to O’Neal’s spontaneity, he’s one of the most distinctive, creative, insightful musicians at work today.”
ROB WOLCOTT, Forbes
HBO: BOARDWALK EMPIRE
“MAN ON THE STREET”
U2: ELECTRIC BURMA
I’d like to share a bit of magic. As 2020— a challenging and opportunity-charged year— wound down, I was blessed by a Zoom trialogue with Pixar co-founder and former President of Disney Animation Studios Ed Catmull. We explored storytelling, virtual reality, personal responsibility— and how the universe intervenes. ROB WOLCOTT
Harold O’Neal has the charmed life of a lauded musician, composer, actor and busy speaker focusing on the creative process. He’s performed with U2, Jay Z, and appeared as a piano playing hepcat on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
But he tells a story of the night he nearly died, as a reminder to himself and others that the past only has the power to define you if you let it. ELLEN MCGIRT
In other words, the record swings: a major plus for an unpretentious, accessible, this-is-who-I-am kind of record. On the other hand, “Whirling Mantis” comes with ideas, because Mr. O’Neal can write. BEN RATLIFF
A few hundred years ago, classical pianists would impress audiences by improvising cadenzas in the middle of a concerto — riffing, we would say today. Now improvisation is firmly in the realm of jazz. But a new record called Marvelous Fantasy explores the connection between jazz and classical improvisation. It’s by the 30-year-old jazz pianist Harold O’Neal. KURT ANDERSON
My guest is Harold O'Neal. He's a kick boxer, a Rubik's cube champion, a B-boy dancer. Most importantly, he is a jazz pianist, and his new album is a collection of pieces for solo piano. It's called "Marvelous Fantasy." GUY RAZ
Harold O'Neal's Whirling Mantis is named for a defensive move in karate. The martial-arts reference suggests one way to look at how O'Neal's music operates: The players react to each other's moves, deflecting one another in stylized interaction. KEVIN WHITEHEAD