Damien Sneed

Composer, Conductor, & Musician

Biography

Damien Sneed is a pianist, organist, conductor, composer, producer, arranger, and arts educator whose work spans multiple genres. Sneed has worked with jazz, classical, pop, and R&B legends including the late Aretha Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ashford & Simpson, Lawrence Brownlee, and many others. The multi-genre recording artist is a recipient of the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, which is presented annually to emerging Black and Latino leaders in classical music.

This year, Sneed embarked on a 36-city North American tour, “We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. featuring Damien Sneed.” This year also marks the 35th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which was signed into law and made a federal holiday in 1983.  

Sneed has also served as music director for Grammy Award-winning gospel artists The Clark Sisters, Richard Smallwood, Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark Sheard, Dorinda Clark-Cole and Kim Burrell.

Sneed is the founder and artistic director of Chorale Le Chateau, which has gained a global reputation for its vivid interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance period pieces to art songs to jazz, spirituals, gospel, and avant-garde contemporary music. He is featured on the recording of Wynton Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass as a conductor, with Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Chorale Le Chateau.

Sneed joined the acclaimed staff of the Houston Grand Opera (HGOco) as Music Director and Composer in Residence and served as cover conductor for HGO mainstage productions under Patrick Summers, Artistic and Music Director for the 2018 – 2019 season. He has been commissioned to compose a new chamber opera called MARIAN’S SONG about the life of Marian Anderson for Houston Grand Opera which will have its world premiere on March 5, 2020 at the Cullen Theater.

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Reviews

“Damien is an extraordinarily talented, intelligent and well-rounded musician as well as a human being of depth and passion.”  

Jessye Norman

“Damien Sneed is an ambassador for classical and gospel music who brings positivity, optimism and thoroughness to every occasion. His talent stretches across traditional divisions. In the realest sense, he uses his artistry to make our world a better place.”

 

Wynton Marsalis