Neil Dixon Smith

Why book Neil Dixon Smith?

I am a solo classical guitarist based in Chicago. I specialize in Latin American and Spanish classical styles, in addition to music for wedding ceremonies.

I perform for banquets, private dinner parties, gallery openings, restaurants, receptions, and any special event that calls for a "lively and elegant" ambiance.

You'll find me to be an immensely positive and professional musician, open to any challenge, and dedicated to making your event truly special.

Gallery

Reviews

Our party went from ordinary to amazing!

Neil is an amazing, gifted guitarist. We decided to add guitar music to our graduation party. Everyone commented on the beautiful music. Neil played just the right music to stand out but also be background for good conversations. He is a wonderful, polite person in addition to being talented. We ended up moving him from outside to inside and he was incredibly easy going about it.

Expertise
Communication
Professionalism
Priced Fairly
Adaptability
Reviewer: Angie B.
Event: Graduation in Glenview, IL
Event Date: May 17, 2013
Hired As: Guitarist, Classical Guitarist, World Music

Booking Info

  • Typical Gig: 60 - 240 minutes
  • Fee: $200-800
  • Languages: English

Overview

As a solo classical guitarist, I provide background music for events (if not providing ceremony music for weddings). My specialty is guitar music of Latin America and Spain, which depending on the event can mean a set of lively, uptempo music (such as for a cocktail party) or slower romantic music (such as for a dinner party).

I always perform my music from memory, so you'll never see me with a music stand in front of me. This makes for a more soulful performance of the music, and it means there are literally no barriers between me and the public, adding a touch of intimacy.

I consider myself to be a very empathetic musician, sensing the scene about me, and really playing to it, intuitively sensing when the energy needs to come up or down.

I play through a small amplifier that I bring along, all I require is a chair and some proximity to electricity.

For weddings, I'm equally comfortable performing traditional wedding repertoire (Ave Maria, Canon in D, Bridal Chorus), or a more non-traditional approach, be that creating a solo guitar arrangement of a favorite pop song, or choosing something unique from the "beautiful but obscure" corners of my repertoire.

For most events, folks hire me to "do what I do best", which for me is guitar music of Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Peru, etc., as well the great works of Spanish romantic music. But I'm always happy to take direction.

I pride myself on a positive attitude and I hope we can work together this year!

Additional Booking Notes

I bring my own amplifier (100w), and at least 25' of extension cord. All I need is a chair, and some proximity to electricity!

Neil Dixon Smith

I am a solo classical guitarist, a provider of live instrumental background music for parties, banquets, weddings, restaurants, or any special gathering that calls for a lively and elegant ambiance.

I have been performing professionally in and around Chicagoland as a soloist since 2004. My repertoire includes a savory mix of Latin American folk and popular styles, and classical guitar music of Spanish and Latin American origin.

My background as a classical guitarist is quite unique. Rather than being a product of a music school, I apprenticed privately with the Chilean master guitarist Alfonso Chacon for nine years until his passing in 2011.

Through my studies and travels, I have fostered a great love of Latin American guitar music and, as a “North American,” I embrace the challenge of interpreting this work with passion and humility.

I consider it my mission is to bring these styles to new audiences and hopefully pass on these songs and techniques to the next generation of guitarists.

I hope to provide your event with a warm and inviting atmosphere — a welcome spark to conversation, a fine compliment to food and wine, and a raising of the spirits.

The team providing the talent:

Neil Dixon Smith

Guitarist

Set List

A "typical" 50 set will begin in Brazil, move down to Argentina, then up through Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia and ending in Mexico and Cuba, with phone calls to Spain along the way!

I can play four 50-minute sets without repeating any material, I typically play 50 minutes on, with 10 minute breaks.

Influences & Inspiration

My background as a classical guitarist is unique, as I am not the product of a music school/conservatory. Rather, for nine years I studied/apprenticed directly with a master guitarist from Chile, Alfonso Chacon, who passed away in 2011. From him I was introduced to the great guitarists of 20th Century South America: Louis Bonfa, Baden Powell, Roberto Grela, Oscar Aviles, Ricardo Acevedo, Augustin Barrios and Atahualpa Yupanqui, and others.

Of course, I am a lover of all music - I grew up playing in garage rocknroll bands, playing jazz in the school band, graduating to reggae/carribean bands, in the 1990's, and then to Latin music in the 2000's.

Setup Requirements

Chair

Proximity to electricity

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