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Neil Whitford is an eclectic guitarist with a taste for variety. He is an active member of the Toronto music scene in a variety of musical genres, performing, writing, recording and acting as musical director for artists Alison Jane, Candice Chantrell, Najuah, Will Conquer, Sacred Balance and Chloe Charles. He is also active as a guitarist and writer for The Circles Quartet and co-leads a progressive jazz-rock project called Ninja Funk Orchestra. Neil has also played guitar for well known musicals Fame, 13, Seussical and Footloose as well as being musical director for the Spirit Express Reunion. Neil has also played and collaborated with the Elastocitizens, Amy Lee Owens and rapper Blade.
The guitar has awarded Neil the opportunity to play a number of major festivals across the country including the Medicine Hat international Jazz festival, Edmonton international Jazz festival, Edmonton fringe festival, Luminato Festival, The Beaches international jazz festival and the Cutting Edge Music Festival. Music has allowed him to travel to many places in Canada as well as the US, Chile and Germany.
Since the age of eight, Neil was involved in music lessons, starting with piano and moving to guitar in his teens. During his post-secondary education he was able to study with prominent Canadian jazz guitarists Bobby Cairns, Roy Patterson and David Occhipinti. After completing his bachelors in jazz performance from the University of Toronto, Neil continued to perform in a number of different situations in Toronto as well as writing, recording and teaching the guitar. Neil is the part owner and founder of the Oakwood Guitar School with his colleague, Matthew Roberts.