Vernon Neilly was born May 10th to George and Verna Neilly at Clark Air Base in the Philippines, shortly thereafter his family moved to their native home of Nassau, Bahamas. Vernon's mother an accomplished pianist, violinist, would be very instrumental in his early musical development. Vernon studied piano, and sang in his grandfather's church choir at the age of 6, at 8 years old he started playing around with guitars. His family moved to Hawaii at age 14 when Vernon started playing in his first real performing band. He studied music all through high school, and played in various bands that did clubs, and casuals. Vernon then moved to Miami where he attended his last 2 years of college, this move put him in the company of people who would eventually be legends in the music business, such as Jaco Pastorious, Pat Metheny, “Narada” Michael Walden, and many others who attended Miami. Vernon a communications major after completing his studies, got a job working at the 1 radio station in South Florida WEDR as an air personality. Vernon also started playing with a Miami based group called “Unit III” who had a regional hit single, this would prove to be the launching of his professional career as a musician/producer/artists, and now label owner of his own company, Boosweet Records, a very well known independent label based in Los Angeles, Ca.
At this point Vernon has recorded with, toured with, produced for some of the most legendary names in the music business such as the late blues legend “Johnny Guitar Watson”, “Pee Wee Crayton”, Charles “Merry Christmas” Brown, “Mary Wells”, “The Dramatics”, Motown hit producer “Norman Whitfield”, rap star “Warren G”, “Howard Hewitt”, “Teena Marie”, Cuba Gooding Sr. (Main Ingredient), The Coasters, Drifters, Etta James, George Clinton, and many more.
He produced and mastered the 18 artist compilation disc “United By Tone” in conjunction with the worlds leading guitar pickup manufacturer, “Seymour Duncan”. This highly acclaimed limited edition disc features some of the most notable names in the guitar world such as, Slash, Jerry Horton(Papa Roach), Jennifer Batten(Jeff Beck, Michael Jackson),Gary Hoey, Jimmy Bruno, Seymour Duncan , and Vernon, who's track “Nassau Nights” is the first song on the disc .
Vernon has just taken his career to the stratosphere with the release of his CD effort “G-Fire”, which garnered a prestigious jazz award called the “Smoothie Award”. This award was given for having a top 20 most played jazz release at commercial radio 2003-2004. The success of “G-Fire” had been so substantial that it has allowed Vernon to sign a multi-year national retail deal for his label Boosweet Records with Synergy Distribution. Vernon has followed up on the success of “G-Fire,” with “G-Fire II” currently playing nationally/internationally on commercial, college, cable, satellite, and Internet radio. Now “G-Fire II” also recently won the distinguished “Smoothie Award” making Vernon a 2 time consecutive winner. Vernon and the “G-Fire II” CD has also joined the top artist in contemporary jazz genre such as Herbie Hancock, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, Everett Harp, George Benson by ranking in the Top 10 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums Retail Charts Retail.
Vernon and his CD's have also been featured in magazines such as Guitar Player, Guitar World, Guitar One, 20th Century Guitar, Vintage Guitar, Jazz Improv, Jazz Times, Down Beat, Urban Network, Ebony, Our Weekly, Guitar Player Brazil, Cover Guitarra(Brazil), Smooth Jazz News, Abyss Jazz, All About Jazz, and many others, and also a myriad of newspapers, and e-zines globally.
Vernon has just released his new CD, Vernon Neilly & Friends “A Tribute To Stevie Wonder”, that was recorded on 3 continents, Europe, South America, and North America. This CD features along with Vernon some big international artists such as Greg Howe(Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake), Kiko Loureiro, U-Nam, Michael Paulo(Al Jarreau, Earth Wind & Fire), Bill Hudson(Cellador,Power Quest), Grammy Award winning bassist Juan Nelson(Vesta Williams, Ben Harper)), and others paying homage to the musical genius that is Stevie Wonder.
Extending his career to acting in movies, Vernon can also be seen on the big screen, and DVD in 3 major film company releases, Universals “Along Came Polly”, Warner Bros. “Starsky and Hutch”, and he recently participates in Columbia Pictures “Walk Hard” which is currently in theaters now. Vernon has also appeared in the UPN Network's hit television sitcom “One On One”, and “Girlfriends”, both programs that are now in syndication internationally.
Vernon is one of only a handful of musicians in the world to have both a signature guitar manufactured for him bearing his name, and a signature guitar string, the are called respectively called the Tagima VN-1 signature guitar, and Giannini “Power String”.
Boogie On Reggae Woman
The new CD titled "Vernon Neilly & Friends: A Tribute To Stevie Wonder" was actually recorded on 3 different continents as Vernon was able to tap the shoulders of a few friends and magnificent musicians to come up with a musical experience as diverse as it's participants. Featured on the CD with Vernon is American guitar virtuoso Greg Howe, label mate Brasilian rock star and guitar virtuoso Kiko Loureiro (Angra), Grammy award winning Bassist Juan Nelson of the worldwide touring band "Ben Harper
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