Welcome to Phoenicia, Damien Sneed!
Recently signed to IMG Artists, Damien Sneed is a multi-genre recording artist and a recipient of the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence. This is presented annually to emerging Black and Latino leaders in classical music. Sneed has also garnered attention in a wide range of other musical genres, including jazz, gospel, and popular music.
In April 2015, Sneed made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall for Wynton Marsalis’ “Abyssinian 200: A Celebration” on the legendary Ronald O. Perelman Stage. Sneed has also ventured into the world of musical theater and has partnered with Tony Award winner George Faison as the musical director for CityParks Foundation’s Central Park SummerStage production of “The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance & Music.”
A pianist, organist, conductor, composer, producer, arranger, vocal coach and arts educator, Sneed has worked with jazz, classical, pop and R&B legends such as Aretha Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ashford & Simpson, Lawrence Brownlee and many others. He has served as music director for GRAMMY® Award-winning gospel artists The Clark Sisters, Richard Smallwood, Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark Sheard, Dorinda Clark-Cole and Kim Burrell.
Sneed’s other professional affiliations have included The Juilliard School, the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the City University of New York, Nyack College, The Boys Choir of Harlem, the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, YAMAHA as an endorsed Influential Artist and is a Hammond Suzuki USA artist.
An acclaimed artist with a global reach Sneed has performed in Europe, Japan, the U.S. Virgin Islands, South America, Africa and over 44 states in the United States. He is a graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts School, and he has studied at some of the finest conservatories and universities, including Howard University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance; the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University; New York University, where he earned a Master of Music in Music Technology: Scoring for Film and Multimedia; and the Manhattan School of Music.
Sneed is the founder and artistic director of Chorale Le Chateau, which has gained a global reputation for its vivid interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance period pieces to art songs to jazz, spirituals, gospel, and avant-garde contemporary music. He is featured on the new recording project of Wynton Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass featuring Sneed as conductor, Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln CenterOrchestra and Chorale Le Chateau.
Sneed created an independent label, LeChateau Earl Records in 2009. The label reflects Sneed’s varied musical interests, and features critically-acclaimed artists from classical, jazz, gospel and other musical genres including his most recent albums Broken To Minister: The Deluxe Edition, Spiritual Sketches and Introspections LIVE. He also served as musical director for season four of Sunday Best, Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) hit award-winning gospel singing competition show.
He was guest conductor of the USC Symphony Orchestra for the 2016 – 2017 season and will be graduating with his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting from USC in April 2018 as a student of Maestro Donald Portnoy.
During the 2017 – 2018 season, Sneed will be projects include the following: a Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall debut on October 9, 2017, an upcoming recital tour with Jessye Norman, several performances in Europe, a solo piano recital at Amherst College, a commission to compose a piece for mixed chorus and orchestra from the Washington Performing Arts Society for their Awards Gala and a new commission from the Lyric Opera of Chicago to compose an opera with its world premiere in May 2018.