Growing up on the island of Jamaica, the son of two Missionary parents, you would think my future was permanently defined. But close to my heart was the dream of being in the theatre. The moment I could, I managed to find my way to New York. There my career began . . . Broadway; off-Broadway; Cabaret; Concerts and most notably my performance in ‘Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris’. An amazing journey of 20 years ensued, as I performed in most major venues . . Town Hall; Lincoln Center; the Royale Theatre; Kennedy Center; Boston Symphony Hall and more.
As it would be, a Divine plan was developing for me. God, my Universe, quietly led me to St. Monica’s Catholic Church and my beloved Monsignor Modugno. There I became a Cantor and joyfully began to serve the wonderful congregation of St. Monica’s family. Further blessed by good fortune I became a Cantor at St. Jean Baptiste, working with and learning from a very gifted music director Kyler Brown. Additionally, I had the pleasure of singing for the spirited rock and roll band at St. Bart’s charismatic service on Sunday evenings. My world continued to expand as I was invited to serve the wonderful congregation of Central Synagogue under the direction of the ‘oh so gifted’ David Strickland . David is music director and arranger of songs for this project! He and I work under the brilliant Cantorial leadership of Angela Warnick-Buchdahl and Elizabeth Sacks at Central Synagogue.
‘A Journey to Joy’, is an eclectic CD, with traditional hymns, contemporary Christian music, and songs from the secular musical world, representing for me a deep spiritual experience. Every song is a story connecting to our universal human and spiritual lives, and gives us the opportunity to find comfort from our true Source. It is my humble hope that these songs might touch you in a personal way, where you find peace and comfort in the music. It is said, if the world would allow it, music would heal the world.
I dedicate this CD to my extraordinary son Kevin who is my inspiration, his amazing wife Alexandra, and their two precious daughters Matilda and Olivia . . . beautiful children whom I adore beyond words. My heart and gratitude go out to all the musicians; the instrumentalists; and the singers, who have given so much of their time and talent to this project. And a special thanks to Paul Greenwood who helped me develop a number of these songs . . . songs which so deeply touched my heart . . . Peace Out and God Bless everyone . . . Joseph Neal
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