With being compared to Duke Ellington, Kenny Kirkland, and Maurice Ravel by The New York Times, Harold O'Neal FRSA (pianist, producer, speaker, social entrepreneur) has established himself as one of this generation's most accomplished pianists and composers. He has received widespread recognition and coverage in a variety of media outlets, including Forbes, NPR's All Things Considered, The New Yorker, Fortune Magazine, and the 92nd St Y: 7 Days Of Genius series. O'Neal has also been granted fellowship to the prestigious Royal Society of the Arts, with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as patron. Recently, Harold O'Neal brought his storytelling expertise to Pixar's Academy Award-winning film, Soul, serving as a creative expert behind the scenes with his stories providing valuable resources to the filmmaking process.
"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
In the entertainment industry, O'Neal has also made a name for himself a sought-after music director and producer known for his work on high-profile events like Electric Burma with U2, CNN All Star Tribute with Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa, and The Albie Awards—the inaugural awards ceremony by The Clooney Foundation, hosted by John Oliver and featuring Aloe Blacc. The Albie Awards, named after anti-apartheid activist Justice Albie Sachs, honor courageous defenders of justice and were presented by notable figures including Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Dua Lipa, and Oscar Isaac.
As a speaker and social entrepreneur, Harold O'Neal has presented to a diverse range of leaders in innovation, including at events and conferences hosted by TIME, Salesforce, The Future of Storytelling, Google, McKinsey & Company, United Nations Ambassadors, Salesforce, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and The World Economic Forum at Davos. Currently, O'Neal has several projects in production, including producing his next jazz album (2023), producing and scoring an untitled feature-length film with an Academy Award-winning director (2024), and founding a global social entrepreneurship initiative with Paul Propster, a Senior Strategist and Story Architect of NASA Jet Propulsion Lab.
"In addition to O’Neal’s spontaneity, he’s one of the most distinctive, creative, insightful musicians at work today.”
ROB WOLCOTT, Forbes
SPLICE: SOUL SERUM
MAN ON THE STREET
U2: ELECTRIC BURMA
SING FOR HOPE
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