Neil Jacobs
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Neil Jacobs

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"The Oberlin Review"

Aubrey Woolverton

Eclectic Guitarist Presents Boho Bricolage Concert

"Bohemian Traveler": Neil Jacobs plays gypsy guitar

By Aubrey Woolverton

Twelve-string guitar player Neil Jacobs performed for a large crowd at The Cat in the Cream this past Saturday. Jacobs is a self-taught musician who has been touring and performing since the 1980s. Though he calls himself a “folk gypsy musician,” this title only begins to encompass the broad and unique sound that Jacobs has cultivated.

Jacobs describes his music as “little touches of this and that” and credits his early interest in guitar playing to a homemade shoebox he created at the age of eight. His technique has certainly expanded since his youth — after graduating to the 12-string guitar, he now plays folk music focusing on storytelling and community gatherings, collected from various “gypsy haunts” of Spain, Russia and Eastern Europe where he has lived and studied over the years.

While his music has been lumped into the Celtic music category — his latest album, Secret Places, was even named one of the top Celtic albums of the year by a Columbus radio show — it is heavily influenced by Spain and the Balkan states. These influences are certainly shown in his song “Spanedonia,” whose name is derived from the combination of Spanish and Macedonian themes. Perhaps an even better example lies in the title of his third album, “American Gypsy,” which clearly alludes to his musical affiliations and style.

If twelve-string guitar itself seems an unusual instrument, the same can be said for Jacob’s music. The 90-minute set included songs from his four releases, a mix of classical songs he jokingly referred to as “classical butcherings” and folk gypsy songs he has adapted to the 12-string guitar. Jacobs was very comfortable with his instrument and his performance was engaging. The songs were wonderfully fast-paced and intricate — it was easy to imagine them being played in gypsy groups in Spain and Eastern Europe. Because his playing style involved strumming, fingerwork, picking and guitar slaps, his sound, while distinct, was very characteristic of traditional European Gypsy music.

The audience seemed to really enjoy not only his musical style but also his inter-song banter. Jacobs made a point of filling the space between his songs with jokes and self-deprecating humor. When discussing his family’s non-musical background, he referred to his mother as saying she “wants me to become an oceanographer someday.” For the sake of his fans — and after Saturday, that number is growing — let’s hope it doesn’t work out. - Aubrey Woolverton

"Miscellaneous Quotes"

"For over twenty-five years, this award-winning performer and composer has toured the world, bringing a whole new emotional and spiritual virtuosity to the instrument." - Mike Jurovic - F.A.M.E Review

"mesmerizing style" - St. Louis Riverfront Times

"the rockin’est 12-string guitar since early Leo Kottke"
- Austin Chronicle

"brings to mind John Fahey traveling through strange and exotic lands" - Windham Hill Recordings

"Return of the Romani son" - RJ Lannan - The Sounding Board

“Sobbing melodies and fiery rhythms” - Wilma Salisbury, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Jacobs can evoke sincere emotion without getting in the listener’s face with overly flashy pyrotechnics. This speaks volumes about his dedication to letting the music (and not any fireworks) get his message across." - Bill Binkelman - Wind and Wire

"'Folk and gypsy musician' this title only begins to encompass the broad and unique sound that Jacobs has cultivated"
- Aubrey Woolverton - Oberlin Review

"Music that brings out the haunting and mysterious qualities of the 12-string guitar." - Delta Snake Daily CD Blues Review

"a superb 12 string guitar virtuoso" - Marjan Ornik, Libra Radio, Slovenia

"Unimaginable richness thrown to the winds with complete abandonment - echoes of Django and other musics both modern and ancient" - Jazz Lover's List

"He came out alone and sounded like everything from a guitar to a symphony orchestra" - Jay Ungar

"He does everything to that guitar but give it an herbal massage"
Livingston Taylor

"a dazzling 12-string guitarist with an enormous palette of experiences to paint from."- The Other Paper

"Jacobs covers the world vibe on his extraordinary 12-string, fusing flamenco, Celt, Balkan, Greek, jazz and gypsy" - Mike Jurovic, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

"Neil makes his twelve-string guitar sounds like an entire orchestra."
Dean Reed ("Und seine Lieder")

"From jigs to jazz Jacobs gives you high speed harmonics and arrangements that keep your feet moving."
Austin Chronicle

"a smorgasboard of textures and colors"
Kirk Albrecht - Minor 7th Reviews

"His 12-string guitar instrumentals sound as if they were born in an exotic cerebral locale." - St. Louis Riverfront Times

"Jacobs has traveled extensively from one side of Europe to the other. Neil and his 12-string have been part of an ongoing tour that offers succor to the lost and culture to the found. He has truly traveled the way of the gypsy, but unlike the sad history of the Romani, he is usually welcomed with open arms and hearts." - RJ Lannan - New Age Reporter

“Plays the daylights out of the 12-string guitar”
Palmer Moore, Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club

"…an intense, expressive, and impossibly intricate style"- Rob Harvilla-The Other Paper

"…touches the soul of the Gypsy."
Laszlo Regezcy-Nagy (Secretary to the President of Hungary)

"12-string guitar as percussion, incantation, transcendence over the limitations of flesh and blood (you would not BELIEVE), the salty peasant mystery of ancestry, pulled heart strings, shuddering steel strings, fretboard as surfboard of the heavens, guitarist as Magus-Pythagoras rapt in wonder at the overtones of creation. Jacobs is a transported enfant terrible with the muscle and discipline of absolutely mature musical understanding."
Jazz Lovers List

- Misc

"Guitar Player Magazine - Jan, 2007"

Neil Jacobs' Gypsy Vamps and Themes by Vincent DeMasi - Full page article/interview ( page 44) - January, 2007 - Guitar Player Magazine - visit - Vincent DeMasi

"Neil Jacobs - "Soul of a Gypsy""

I just received this "American Gypsy" CD from a superb 12 string guitar virtuoso Neil Jacobs himself. It fits perfectly into Libra radio music programme and i am proud to announce A DAY OF THE MUSICIAN with Neil Jacobs on Libra Radio starting on monday, of June 2005 at 10. am Central European time. There will be also a special one hour show with Neil's music at 1. am CET on 21. st of June. Thank you for sending the music to Libra Radio, Neil!
You can buy his music at CD Baby.

This is his story:

Neil Jacobs has had a colourful and unconventional musical career. Touring for mor than 25 years, he has performed in such diverse venues as the refugee camps of Sarajevo, the Kennedy Center for Performing arts and the Kremlin.
Of Irish & Macedonian descent, Neil was raised in Hinckley, Ohio. At a young age he developed an affinity for the guitar and taught himself to play. In the early 80's, Neil's group toured with Spyro Gyra, Alan Holdsworth and Jeff Lorber, appearing with perfomers like Herbie Mann, David Bromberg, Janis Ian, Flora Purim and Livingston Taylor.
His growing fascination with Eastern European folk music drew him back to Europe. As a backpacker equipped with two 12 string guitars on the train in the early stages of the bloody Balkan war, Neil travelled to perform in the countries of what was once known as Yugoslavia.
In 1994-95 Neil was selected as cultural representative to Spain, where he studied the gypsy music of Seville, and escorted by a gypsy guide, he experienced the real gypsy culture in the back-alley clubs.

In 1996 he returned to the war-ravaged Balkans on a bus tour, performing for refugee camps & orphanages troughout Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia. The journey trough the bombed-out countryside was heart-wrenching for the 25 musicians and dancers living in cramped quarters on the extended tour. The purpose of the trip was to lift the spirits of the refugees and orphans by playing the music of their native villages which were all in ruins. At the end of the journey loomed the devastated city of Sarajevo, where the troupe was to perform a concert. In an amazing display of ingenuity, a great stage was erected in a matter of hours, complete with a massive sound system and lights. the tour culminated in an emotional farewell concert with the highly respected American Balkan music and dance ensemble "Zivili". After Sarajevo Neil struck out on his own southward trough Bosnia, this time encountering a dangerously divided country. Returning to the States, he completed his third CD, "American Gypsy", which earned him an Album of the Year nomination by the American Independent Music Awards.

Neil Jacobs is truly a master of the 12-string guitar. With his own style of playing that the St Louis Riverfront Times describes as "mesmerizing" and the Austin Chronicle describes as "the rockin'est since early Leo Kottke". Neil covers a full spectrum of styles and dynamics, touching on music diverse and varied as Gypsy, World, Balkan Folk, Jazz, and Fingerstyle guitar, while maintaining his own refreshing energetic style of playing. A self-taught musician, Neil draws inspiration from his world travels and experiences. His most recent focus includes the Gypsy music of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, which is showcased in his third CD "American Gypsy", in which he draws from his first hand knowledge of Eastern European Gypsy, Balkan and World Folk music to create his riveting compositions.
posted by O.marian at 15:51 - Blue Moos Radio, Slovenia

"American Gypsy"

12424 Mill St.
Petaluma, CA 94952 USA

An Official Publication of
Pacific Region Issue
January-March 2006*

Nominated 'Album of the Year' by the American Independent Music Awards, Neil Jacobs' AMERICAN GYPSY is deserving of every honor it receives: the Eastern European gypsy tradition is deftly captured, along with overtones of jazz and even flamenco.

Roma and folk traditions are presented in Neil Jacobs' own guitar styling compositions, supported on many pieces with the Ukrainian violinist Arkadiy Gips.

AMERICAN GYPSY, unlike many traditional peasant productions, is apt to reach a wider audience than most: its flamenco styles will draw listeners of Spanish music, its classical precision will appeal to classical musicians, and its gypsy roots will attract Eastern European listeners who will find the blends surprising and refreshing.
From flamenco to Hungarian gypsy cafe to near-Klezmer beats, AMERICAN GYPSY provides a host of ethnic-rooted, rollicking guitar songs.

An outstanding production.
- World Discoveries Review: D.C. DONOVAN, EDITOR

"Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange"

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mike Jurkovic

On the Friday that Secret Places came in the mail for review, I had spent the week listening to a collection of Vivaldi's concertos and Sam Cooke. Now that's a wide spectrum no matter what demographic you poll, but Neil Jacobs took up his own place within it.

When most of us first encountered the 12-string, it was the clang-jangly shimmer of The Byrds. But, for over twenty-five years, this award winning performer and composer has toured the world, bringing a whole new emotional and spiritual virtuosity to the instrument. And, while on his travels, the musical languages he has encountered inspire his new disc.

Be it Ravel's Bolero or Tchaikovsky's Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy Jacobs covers the world vibe on his extraordinary 12-string, fusing flamenco, Celt, Balkan, Greek, jazz and gypsy. Performances of Song of Vojvodina, Morning At Ragged Point, My Norman Rockwell, and Singing Dunes are crystalline moments where mind, heart, spirit and finger-picking ability meld, creating their own quiet space. With an ensemble of musicians playing exotic and familiar instruments, i.e.: stand-up bass, udu, violin, brac, and bugarja, this is perfect music for those snowy mornings and sunsets, those Sundays where it's just you and the music.

Other Neil Jacobs CDs are: American Gypsy, World Blue and the fusion energy of Cold Fish.
- Mike Jurkovic

"New Age Reporter, "World Blue""

World Blue, Reviewed August, 2006
Adena Productions

It’s potentially hazardous to start an album with too great a track, lest expectations rise to a ridiculously high level. Take for example “Mad March” which opens World Blue, an excellent recording from acoustic guitarist Neil Jacobs (whose latest CD, Secret Places, was favorably reviewed here a while back by my colleague RJ Lannan). Luckily for Jacobs, instead of this song being the only highpoint on the album, “Mad March” is merely the tip of a considerable iceberg of great music. The gentle sad melancholy of the first cut does indeed signal the overall mood of the remaining eleven tracks, though. This is soft and subtle music, although Jacobs flexes his chops plenty of times throughout the CD. However, both the subdued style and the music volume itself are muted, almost sepia-toned, if you will. I found this particular aspect to be the album’s strongest point in its favor. Jacobs can evoke sincere emotion without getting in the listener’s face with overly flashy pyrotechnics. This speaks volumes about his dedication to letting the music (and not any fireworks) get his message across. Per the liner notes, with only a few exceptions, he is playing a single solo guitar on this album, although that’s hard to believe with how rich and complex these songs sound.

“Gypsy Waltz” carries echoes of influences from those wandering people’s rich musical tradition, filled with passion and smoldering fire, while “Billetdoux” sparkles sweetly (on this track, Jacobs guitar sound reminded me a bit of Bruce BecVar), dancing delicately with a slight hint of mystery. “The Castle” is pensive and reflective and features a particularly nice “hook” as the main refrain, and on “Adena River” the pace is picked up with Jacobs making some of his notes “sing” separately from the main flowing melody. “Weight of the Day” has a relaxed rolling feel to it and made me think of an Al Stewart song (coincidentally titled “End of the Day”) although “Weight of the Day” has a more dramatic texture and mood. The title song ends the album and it’s an understandably somber and pensive tune, even perhaps morose, but the music itself is so pretty that you could never actually be saddened by the music itself.

I can see why RJ wrote so favorably of Neil Jacobs in his Secret Places review. It’s hard for a guitarist to stand apart from the crowd in this well-populated subgenre of instrumental music. Jacobs made an instant and deep impression on me with his soulful playing and unique compositions on World Blue. If you enjoy acoustic guitar music, I can’t imagine you won’t enjoy the album. Special kudos, by the way, should go to engineer Michael Moore and his assistant Adam Schlenker. This CD is exceedingly well-recorded, making Jacobs’ musical gifts all the more wonderful and easier to appreciate.

Bill Binkelman
Music Reviewer
New Age Reporter
Wind and Wire
- Bill Binkelman

"Neil Jacobs, "Return of the Romani Son""

Secret Places - by Neil Jacobs
Sounding Board Review
New Age Reporter, R.J. Lannan

“Return of the Romani Son”

Just noting the titles on Neil Jacobs’ album, Secret Places, piqued my interest. However, I was truly rewarded when the music touched my spirit. I played a 12-string once years ago, but it didn’t sound like this. Jacob’s mastery of the instrument is well…magical. He combines contemporary themes with classical styling and the result is sometimes warm and sophisticated, sometimes playful and exciting. As an added bonus you get a whirlwind tour, albeit a musical one, of North America and most of Europe.

Many times Jacobs’ phenomenal style made me wonder how many people were actually playing the guitar. Every time it was just Neil. Oh, he had a little help from Arkadiy Gips on violin, Craig Marley on udu, Steven Fox on upright bass and John Douglas on electric bass on a few of the cuts. But on guitar…just Neil.

Neil starts you off with a plucky little tune called Singing Dunes. You are treated to white smiles and white sand beaches somewhere along the Mediterranean. Warm breezes and a dazzling sun dance around you as the music gains momentum. As the day wears on there is just the two of you as the world and the music revolves around you.

Who or what is referenced in the song Martin Eden? A Jack London character or the French translation of Morning in Paradise? It’s hard to believe that Jacobs would go off on a tangent to pay homage to an American writer, so my bet is on the French version. Oh, but wait. In another tune Jacobs makes reference to one of the most spectacular sights in California in the tune Morning at Ragged Point. So now we have the globetrotting writer who hails from that awe-inspiring California coast. Both songs are sparkling Pacific jewels. Martin Eden sounds a lot like dawn rising out of the golden Pacific and Morning at Ragged Point is a melodic hundred mile jaunt up the coast to Big Sur.

On two tunes, Song of Vojvodina and Zlato Moje Neil takes you on a special and very personal journey to Serbia. One of my favorite tracks on Secret Places is the resplendent tune Zlato Moje (My Golden One). This is one of those romantic tunes that tears at the heartstrings with eloquent beauty. On Song of Vojvodina there is a peculiarly energetic mandolin lead and a tick-tock tempo that exalts the spirit of the Balkans. With true classical grace Sympathy for Salieri reminds you of the man that competed with uber-composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Even though Salieri had laudable talents of his own he was a victim of wrong guy in the wrong place syndrome. There is a gentle, sparkling guitar score that allows you hear every glistening note of Jacobs’s talent in the composition.

It sounds like Jacobs has quite the handle on slack key guitar in the astonishing title tune Secret Places. It is absolutely the best cut on the album and worth many replays. It was a “take a walk in the woods” tune. Find the biggest hemlock, and sit back and relax under its protective dark green boughs. Sorry, the rest of the world is on its own while I think my private thoughts.

Jacobs has been playing and composing for over a quarter of a century. He has traveled extensively from one side of Europe to the other. Neil and his 12-string have been part of an ongoing tour that offers succor to the lost and culture to the found. He has truly traveled the way of the gypsy, but unlike the sad history of the Romani, he is usually welcomed with open arms and hearts.

Neil Jacobs has been around the world and, like a rare find in a souvenir shop he presents us with his wondrous gifts of music. The grown-up child in you can find sanctuary in Neil Jacobs’ Secret Places. Rating: Very Good
- Sounding Board Review

"Minor Seventh Review"

Review by © Kirk Albrecht

Few acoustic guitarists (excepting Richard Gilewitz and early Leo Kottke) are bold enough to create an entire recording of 12-sting guitar. Neil Jacobs has not just had the cajones to do just that, but to take on some pretty formidable material in the process on "Secret Places," his fourth CD. Jacobs gives enchanting renditions of Ravel's "Bolero", "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" by Tchaikovsky, and the traditional "Misirlou". The entire disc resonates with an eastern European flavor, with a dash of Gypsy and other ethnic tastes. It's a delightful mix. On "Song of Vojvodina", Jacobs plays with dervish fervor the G & D prim while backed by the wonderful "Zivili" tamburica orchestra. "Sympathy for Salieri" must be dedicated to the court composer so tragically portrayed in the film "Amadeus", who lives in the shadow of the bawdy but brilliant Mozart. It's a gentle piece, touching the soul (which maybe Salieri tried to do with his music as well). For a slice of Americana, Jacobs serves up "My Norman Rockwell", a straightforward tune which nonetheless offers more upon closer inspection, like much of Rockwell's seemingly simple creations. We hit the rails on "Train to Zanzibar", winding our way across a landscape painted in shimmering octave hues, while the pounding of simple percussion drives us along. The title cut "Secret Places" finds Jacobs picking out his sparse melody over the stark droning of harmonic bass tones, leaving the listener wanting for more. Jacobs does so many things on this record that it's a smorgasbord of textures and colors, but a pleasant one at that.
- Review by © Kirk Albrecht

"The Austin Chronicle"

"This Columbus, Ohio instrumentalist plays the rockin'-est 12-string guitar since early Leo Kottke. From ligs to jazz, Jacobs gives you high speed harmonics and arrangements that keep your feet moving." - Steve Brooks


CD Releases:
World Blue
American Gypsy
Secret Places
Cold Fish
(all are available to listen to at

RADIO AIRPLAY 2006 includes the following:
(partial list - It is difficult to keep track)
99.7 "Sidestream" , Arthur Elliot, Brisbane
"Grassroots" Jennifer Flux, Woolgoolga, New South Wales

CJTR, "Six Strings and a Million Possibilities" - Regina, Sakatchewan
CKUA - Calgary, Alberta - "Folk Routes" Tom Coxworth
"6/12 Great Guitar Music" - Upper Galilee Radio
"Blue Moos"

"Whole Wheat Radio" Talkeetna SP
KEUL "It's All Folk" Glacier City
WLRN, "Folk & Acoustic Music" Michael Stock, Miami
KCCK - 88.3 FM, "Night Breeze", Mark Jayne
WYCE - Grand Rapids - various
KUMD - Univ of Minnesota, Duluth
"The Riverbank", Internet Radio, 'DJ Mudgie', Ken Anderson
C/O The Riverbank
215 Buffalo Street South
Belle Plaine, MN 56011
KOPN, "Morning Coffeehouse", Steve Jerret, Columbia
KDHX - FM 88.1, "Folks of the World" St Louis
KGLT Bozeman
"Music to Heal the Heart" Greeensboro
"Mystic Soundscapes" Internet Radio - Albuquerque
Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange Review, Mike Jurkovic - Nelson
"General Eclectic" WCVF - Fredonia
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason "Dancing on the Air" Albany
WAPS "Just Plain Folk"
WKSU "Folk Alley", David Fuente, Jim Blum
WOUB "Audiosynchracies" Rusty Smith, Athens
WYSO Yellow Springs
WYSO "Evening Excursions"
Jim McCutcheon, Centerville
WCBE "Toss the Feathers" Doug Dickson
WBGU Bowling Green Univ, David Sears
WRUW Cleveland
"Echoes" John Diliberto - Syndicated (multiple plays)
WCVE, "Electric Croude", George Maida, Richmond
KSER "Starlit Skies" Maya, Everett
WORT "Diaspora", Terry O' Laughlin -

"Cup of Music" Internet Radio




Neil Jacobs is truly a masterful performer on the 12-string guitar. With his own style of playing that the St. Louis Riverfront Times describes as "mesmerizing” and the Austin Chronicle describes as "the rockin'est since early Leo Kottke". Neil covers the world vibe with music diverse and varied as Gypsy, World, Balkan Folk, Classical and Modern Fingerstyle guitar. Neil draws a great deal of inspiration from his world travels and experiences. His recent interests include the Gypsy music of Eastern Europe and the Balkans as demonstrated in his recent critically acclaimed release, “American Gypsy”. His most recent release, “Secret Places” showcases a collage of 12-string guitar compositions and styles. Neil is a featured artist in the Ohio Arts Council Touring Roster.

Neil Jacobs has had a colorful and unconventional musical career. From performances in refugee camps in Sarajevo, to appearances at the Kennedy Center and the Kremlin, Neil’s unique style with the 12-string guitar fascinates audiences and critics alike. His original compositions have more than a cross-cultural appeal, they also appeal to diverse musical tastes. With underpinnings of jazz, nuances of new-age, touches of flamenco, and strong leaning to Gypsy music of Eastern Europe, Neil’s self-styled “world music” performances have been described as “mesmerizing”.

In the early 1980’s, his group toured with such recognized acts as Spyro Gyra, Alan Holdsworth, and Jeff Lorber, performing original music considered ahead of its time. He also appeared with a diverse group of national and international performers including: Herbie Mann, David Bromberg, Janis Ian, Loudon Wainwright III, Scott Cossu, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira and Livingston Taylor. His first CD, the enigmatic “Cold Fish” is the product of this period.

In 1985, Neil began soundtrack work with the film “American Rebel: The Dean Reed Story,” for Academy Award winning filmmaker and producer Will Roberts. While in the Soviet Union with Roberts to attend the Moscow Film Festival, Neil was invited to perform for the legendary Russian composer, Tikhon Krennikov. As a result of that performance, Neil was invited to extend his stay in Moscow for appearances at Moscow University, Mosfilm Studios and Gorky Park, and was selected to represent the U.S. as a member of the Cultural Delegation to the World Youth Festival in Moscow.

During this time in Moscow, Neil befriended the highly controversial, international musical superstar, Dean Reed, the subject of Robert’s film. Their travels in Eastern Europe provided Neil with a fascinating introduction to the Gypsy and folk musics of Eastern Europe. In 1986, Dean invited Neil to Berlin to perform on his major television special, “Mann Aus Colorado.” Previous guests on this surreal “Eastern Bloc Cowboy Show” included Dean’s friend, Phil Everly. Neil’s performance on Dean’s TV special with an estimated audience of 300 million viewers, but proved to be Dean’s final performance, for soon after he met with a mysterious death.

Just a few years later, after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, Neil’s growing fascination with Eastern European folk music drew him back to Europe. Based out of Zagreb, Croatia during the early stages of the bloody Balkan war, Neil traveled by train with a backpack and two 12-string guitars to performances in Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Macedonia, Switzerland and Italy. In Northern Poland he performed for school children in small and often isolated villages and at Polish Army bases.

In 1991, Neil was commissioned by the highly respected, American Balkan music and dance ensemble, “Zivili,” to compose and arrange Gypsy compositions, and continued performing with the group to study the rich musical heritage of the Southern Slavic nations. During this time, Neil became proficient at various authentic folk instruments including prim, sargia, brac, mandocello, and bugaria, while adapting rare Gypsy music to the 12-string guitar. In 1993, after attending one of Neil’s concerts, Secretary to the President of Hungary, Laszio Regeczy-Nagy, invited Neil to Budapest to perform. Neil found Budapest an inspiring environment, and remained there to compose much of his “World Blue” CD.

In 1994-95, Neil was selected as a cultural representative to Spain, giving him both the opportunity to perform throughout Spain, and the unique opportunity to study the Gypsy music of Seville. During this time Neil spent his nights, escorted by his Gypsy guide, experiencing the back-alley clubs and the Gypsy culture. In 1996, Neil returned to the war-ravaged Balkans on an extended bus tour performing for refugee camps and orphanages throughout Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia, culminating in an emotional concert with Zivili in central Sarajevo.

The journey through the refugee camps and bombed out former Yugoslavia was a dramatic and heart-wrenching adventure. Neil revisited villages in ruins that he had marveled at only a f