Damien Sneed is a multi-genre recording artist and a recipient of the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, which is presented annually to emerging Black and Latino leaders in classical music. Sneed has also garnered attention in a wide range of other musical genres, including jazz, gospel, and popularmusic.
In April 2015, Sneed made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall for Wynton Marsalis’ “Abyssinian 200: A Celebration” on the legendary Ronald O. Perelman Stage. Sneed has also ventured into the world of musical theater and has partnered with Tony Award winner George Faison as the musical director for CityParks Foundation’s SummerStage production of “The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance & Music” in historic Central Park. A pianist, organist, conductor, composer, producer, arranger, vocal coach and arts educator, Sneed has worked with jazz, classical, pop and R&B legends including Aretha Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ashford & Simpson, Lawrence Brownlee and many others.
He has 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’s other professional affiliations have included The Juilliard School, the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the City University of New York, Nyack College, The Boys Choir of Harlem, the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, YAMAHA as an endorsed Influential Artist, and is a Hammond Suzuki USA artist. An acclaimed artist with a global reach, Sneed has performed in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Europe, Japan, South America, Africa, and 44 states in the United States.
A graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts School, he has studied at some of the finest conservatories and universities, including Howard University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance; the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University; New York University, where he earned a Master of Music in Music Technology: Scoring for Film and Multimedia; and the Manhattan School of Music. Sneed will also graduate with his doctoratein Orchestral Conducting from USC in Fall 2018.
He 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 featuredon the recording of Wynton Marsalis’ “Abyssinian Mass” as a conductor, with Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Chorale Le Chateau.
Sneed created an independent label, LeChateau Earl Records, in2009. The label, which reflects Sneed’s varied musical interests and features critically-acclaimed artists from classical, jazz, gospel and other musical genres, has released his recent albums: Broken To Minister: The Deluxe Edition, Spiritual Sketches,andIntrospections LIVE. Sneed also served as musicaldirector for season four of Sunday Best,Black Entertainment Television’s award-winning gospel singing competition show. He was guest conductor of the USC Symphony Orchestra for the 2016-2017 season. During the 2017-2018 season, Sneed performed at Carnegie Hall on October 9, 2017; and was commissioned to compose a piece for mixed chorus and orchestra by the Washington Performing Arts Society for their Awards Gala in honor of Lonnie Bunch, the founder of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; and was also commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago to write his very first opera, EMPOWER, which premiered on May 31, 2018.
In the upcoming 2018-2019 season, Sneed will join the acclaimed staff of the Houston Grand Operaas the music director and composer in residence for HGOco to work closelyon new commission projects, composing a new work for HGOco, and serving as assistant conductor for HGO mainstage productions under Patrick Summers, Artistic and Music Director. Sneed recently signed to the roster of IMG Artists, today’s leading global performing arts management agency, and will embark on a 36-city North American concert tour titled “WE SHALL OVERCOME: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., featuring Damien Sneed” from January 2019 to March 2019.