LeChateau Earl Records releases “The Three Sides of Damien Sneed: Classical, Jazz and Sanctified Soul.” The three-disc CD features 39 tracks with more than two hours of music. “The Three Sides of Damien Sneed” is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and all other digital retail outlets everywhere. This magnum opus showcases the broad musicality of Sneed, whose musical skills and performance credits encompass everything from jazz and show tunes to opera and R&B. The set includes original tunes composed by Sneed as well as his unique arrangements of known works.
“The Three Sides of Damien Sneed: Classical, Jazz and Sanctified Soul has been in the works for a very long time,” notes Sneed. “I’ve spent my entire life trying to create and develop my brand as a multi-genre artist, but it wasn’t until I met my publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn, who single-handedly helped me to bring my brand to a definitive point of culmination. I realized that my recorded body of work did not represent all of what I did, so I decided to record this multi-genre project.”
As the CD title indicates, the first disc is a collection of meaningful classical works by Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Strauss and several African American contemporary composers including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Mark Fax, Hale Smith, and Sneed. Guest artists include vocalist Justin Michael Austin, who will debut in the 2018/2019 production of Puccini’s “La fanciulla del West” at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany; and The Metropolitan Opera’s Brandie Sutton, who currently stars as Clara in Seattle Opera’s “Porgy and Bess.”
Disc 2 focuses on Sneed’s considerable chops as a jazz interpreter, composer, pianist, and vocalist. Included are jazz standards “Over The Rainbow,” “Nature Boy,” and “Pure Imagination,” as well as jazz and gospel favorites like “Moanin’,” “God Bless The Child,” and “Wade in the Water.” Sneed’s sidemen include Grammy Award winner Ben Williams(bass), Jonathan Barber(drums), and Julius Rodriguez(piano).
Disk 3 is an 11-track exploration of Sneed’s gospel roots, combining favorite spirituals from his churchgoing childhood, like “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” “Over My Head,” and “You’ve Got To Move;” and a prayer from a work by Wynton Marsalis; and Sneed’s composition “He’s Right There By Your Side.” In addition to Sneed, vocalists include Anitra McKinney, Chenee Campbell, Quinn Brown, and Matia Washington. The disc includes audio clips of Sneed as an 8-year-old music student.
Recently City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage presented the inaugural concert version of “The Three Sides of Damien Sneed: Classical, Jazz and Sanctified Soul” in New York’s historic Central Park. The annual mainstage concert event featured soprano Brandie Sutton and Grammy-nominated artists Stefon Harris and Keke Wyatt.
Damien Sneed is a pianist, organist, conductor, composer, producer, arranger, vocal coach, and arts educator; Sneed has worked with jazz, classical, pop and R&B legends including Aretha Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ashford & Simpson, Lawrence Brownlee and many others. The multi-genre recording artist is a recipient of the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, which is presented annually to emerging Black and Latino leaders in classical music. A graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts School in his hometown of Augusta, GA, he earned a Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance from Howard University and a Master of Music in Music Technology: Scoring for Film and Multimedia from New York University. Sneed will also graduate with his doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from USC in Fall 2018. He is the founder and artistic director of the international vocal ensemble Chorale Le Chateau, and the co-founder of LeChateau Earl Records.
In April 2018, Sneed and his longtime collaborator, classical artist Audrey DuBois Harris, presented a five-song EP, “God Bless America,” which he produced and released on LeChateau Earl Records.