- Teaches students:
- Ages 12+
- Teaching since:
Neil Maxa, a native of Chicago, started his musical career in the pubic school system in the Chicago area. After his developmental years, performing with the Catholic Youth Organization concert and marching bands, he achieved modest acclaim by being selected to the Illinois Music Education Association All-State Jazz Band.
After high school, he went to the School of Music at Western Michigan University located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. There, along with the WMU jazz orchestra, he backed such artists as John Faddis, Red Rodney, David Liebman and Bobby Brookmeyer. The jazz orchestra performed at the Montreaux-Detroit Jazz Festi- val and also competed at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival. While at WMU, Neil earned a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance.
Soon after graduation, Neil followed his musical instinct to Las Vegas, where he would get first-hand learning and playing experience with the legendary jazz trombonist, Carl Fontana. While in Las Vegas, he enrolled at the University of Las Vegas and played in its award-winning Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Frank Gagliardi. While playing at UNLV, Neil was selected "The Most Outstanding College Performer" at the Downbeat Musicfest in 1990. The Jazz Ensemble also won "The Most Outstanding Jazz Band" award at the festival. While at UNLV, Neil performed with such jazz artists as Bobby Shew, Don Menza, Richie Cole, Snookey Young, Joe Romano, Frankie Capp, Carson Smith, Bob Florence and the great jazz singer, Joe Williams.
Since 1988, Las Vegas has been home for Neil. He has freelanced every major celebrity showroom in town, backing such acts as Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Paul Anka, The Temptations, The Buckinghams, The O'Jays, The Righteous Brothers, Boyz II Men and Paul Shaffer. His production show credits include "Enter the Night", "Legends in Concert", "American Superstars", "The Rat Pack is Back", "At the Copa", "Chicago" and "Steve Wynn's Showstoppers".
Neil is a regular member of several of Las Vegas bands, including his own band "The Groove Brothers", "The Dirty with Franky Perez" and is a long time member of "The Lon Bronson All-Star Band" who perform on a regular basis at Myron's Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center.
1988, Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance, Western Michigan University
Allan Horney, Russell Brown, Steve Wolfenbarger, Robert Scann, and James Huntzinger
Trent Kynaston, Frank Gagliardi, Don Menza and Carl Fontana
Most Outstanding College Performer at the 1989 Pacific Coast Collegiate Jazz Festival
Most Outstanding College Performer at the 1990 “Down Beat” MusicFest
Entertainers: Tony Bennett, Bobby Vinton, Michel Legrand, Bobby Rydell, Lou Christie, FrankieValli, Frankie Avalon, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Eddy Arnold, David Cassidy, Sheena Easton, James Ingram, Michael McDonald, Peabo Bryson, Rich Little, Regis Philbin, Lainie Kazan, Donald O’Conner, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers and Whoppi Goldberg Pop/Rock/Motown/Soul Groups: Boyz II Men, Temptations, Four Tops, Little Anthony & the Imperials, O’Jays, Contours, Delfonics, Happenings, Drifters, 10K Maniacs, Tower of Power, Danny Seraphine,
Jazz Artists: Red Rodney, Bobby Shew, Joe Romano, John Faddis, Carson Smith, Carl Fontana, Ruth Brown, Bob Florence, Cab Calloway, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, David Liebman, Richie Cole, Take 6, Woody Herman Orchestra, Nelson Riddle Orchestra and Frankie Capp.
Las Vegas Production Shows: “ Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers”,“Celtic Woman Christmas”, “Enter the Night”, “Legends in Concert”, “The Rat Pack is Back”, “American Superstars”, “At the Copa” and “Chicago”.
Television Shows: NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”, Comedy Central’s “Friars Club Roast Drew Carey” and “Viva Variety” and Showtime's “Penn & Teller: Bullsh*t!”
International Recording Artist’s: Anita Sarawak (Malaysia), Patty Kim (Korea), Johnny Polanco Orchestra (Salsa), Jose Lugo (Puerto Rico) Sparx and Lorenzo Antonio (Mexico)
Las Vegas Bands: Lon Bronson All Star Band, Las Vegas Classic Jazz Band, Zowie Bowie, Michael Grimm, Latin Breeze, Las Vegas Jazz Society Big Band, Jimmy Wilkins Big Band, The Dirty with Franky Perez, Don Menza Big Band, The Groove Brothers, Pop Evolution, Brody Dolyniuk and Yellow Brick Road.