Alex MacNeil was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1989, and spent his early years humming along to pop songs on the radio. At 15, he began lessons with local guitar giant Alan Sutherland, a professor at the prestigious jazz program at St. Francis Xavier University. Alex continued these lessons, as well as taking part in both the jazz and pop music community (Nova Scotia Honour Jazz, local groups, school groups, sixty-five.22, David Pos’ New Years group) in Nova Scotia until 2008, when he moved to Sherbrooke, Quebec where he is studying jazz at Bishop’s University. Under the direction of Mike Gauthier, Kevin Sullivan and Juno-award winning composer Andrew MacDonald, Alex is furthering his experiences as a performer and composer.
The North End Rhythm and Blues Band was formed in 2009 by Alex MacNeil and Kyle Decoste and featured some of Nova Scotia’s finest emerging jazz musicians (Kate Maclean, Beth McKenna, Marianne Greene, Ian Grant, John Macleod, Kris Svendsen, Adam Johnson and Karen Buckle) playing Motown and Stax hits.
In 2010, Alex attended Rhode’s University in Grahamstown , South Africa on exchange where he studied with some of South Africa’s finest music educators. Marc Duby (Darius Brubeck Quartet), Kingsley Buitendag, Steve Ellis and Rick Van Heerdan (Jazzanians) are among some of the fine musicians Alex worked with during his time abroad. Alex has returned to Canada this year and now works closely with Bishop’s University professor Kevin Sullivan (dr.), Guy Breton (bs.). He plans to spend his summer working for the Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Festival in St.John’s, Newfoundland.