Neal Kirkwood is a composer, pianist, vibraphonist, bandleader and arranger for the Neal Kirkwood Octet, the Chromatic Persuaders, and the Discovery Orchestra. He has been awarded numerous commissions, including a 2000 New York State Council on the Arts Commission for "The Future of Futurism" for jazz orchestra, and a 2007 New York State Music Fund commission for "Village Songs" and composed many scores for theater and dance productions. He holds a master's degree in composition from Mannes College of Music, and lives in New York City.
He has performed and recorded with Pony Poindexter, Lindsey Horner, Mike Clark, Bobby Previte, Mark Feldman, and Michel Hermon. In the theater he has worked Jim Neu, Ralph Lee, Joseph Chaikin, Anne Bogart, the Talking Band, Otrabanda Company, and Louise Smith.
He has released four CDs as a leader: The Neal Kirkwood Octet, The Chromatic Persuaders, and Extrospection on Timescraper Records, and a solo piano CD "Time's Circle" on Present Eye Music.