Pianist Johnny O’Neal is an absolute jazz legend, one of the few still walking the earth. In addition to leading his own trios, He has worked with such jazz luminaries such as: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Clark Terry, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, Joe Pass, Lionel Hampton, Anita O’Day, Sonny Stitt, Carmen MacRae, Kenny Burrell, Benny Golson, Sarah Vaughn, Wynton Marsalis, and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, among others. In addition to his virtuoso piano playing, inspired by the likes of Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson, O’Neal is a gutsy and sly vocal stylist, with deep blues roots. He will be joined for his performance at the Greene Block by the 21 year old bass sensation Joey Raineri.
“There are so many outstanding things about Johnny’s playing. Two or three of the most outstanding: number one, the touch. Johnny has a million dollar touch. Very few people touch the piano like that to get that kind of sound and feeling … The other thing is his feeling of swing, which is so natural.” – Oscar Peterson
First Fridays celebrate the vibrant creativity of Waterville by inviting people downtown to engage in multidisciplinary arts experiences! On the first Friday of every month, visit Main Street in downtown Waterville to meet artists, participate in various workshops, listen to live music, eat delicious local food, and come together as a community.