Harold M. O'Neal

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Harold M. O'Neal
Harold O'Neal at New York Fashion Week.jpg
O'Neal in September 2011
Born (1981-03-27) March 27, 1981 (age 37)
EducationBerklee College Of Music, Manhattan School of Music
  • Pianist
  • composer
  • actor
  • public speaker
  • dancer
Years active2003–present

Harold Mujahid O'Neal (born March 27, 1981) is an American pianist, composer, actor, public speaker, and dancer. He has worked with U2, Jay Z, Disney, and HBO. He has been compared to Duke Ellington and Maurice Ravel by The New York Times and is considered to be one of this generation's greatest pianists.


The last protégé of Andrew Hill, O'Neal began working with musical luminaries from a young age — touring the world with Bobby Watson when he was 19 after studying composition at the Berklee College Of Music and leaving the Manhattan School of Music to replace pianist Jason Moran in the influential band, The Greg Osby 4, recording for Blue Note Records.

As a composer, Harold is known for blending the genres of 20th-century impressionist music with modern music. His solo piano albums are noted for meriting a special identity. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Fortune, NPR, and PRI.

Film Scoring[edit]

Harold has composed music for Disney's Tomorrowland, Damon Dash and Kanye West's Loisaidas, and was a featured artist on the Bollywood film Tanu Weds Manu Returns "Old School Girl".


In addition to composing, O'Neal is equally active as a producer in the worlds of Pop, Hip-Hop, and R&B. In 2010, Harold partnered with hip-hop legend Damon Dash. This led to a long-term collaboration with the iconic hip-hop producer Ski Beatz, touring extensively with hip-hop artists, and producing tracks for Mac Miller, Cam'Ron, Murs, and Sir Michael Rocks. In 2012, Harold began a collaboration with super-producers Lil' Ronnie and Jerry Duplessis, a.k.a. Jerry Wonda, with whom he has worked with Busta Rhymes, Ashanti, Ne-Yo, and many of the music industry's icons.

Piano Lineage And Legacy[edit]

At the Paseo Academy Of Fine And Performing Arts, Harold studied classical piano and composition with Margie Cameron-Jarrett, whose musical lineage can be traced back to Franz Liszt. It was also during this time that O'Neal met Herbie Hancock. He then went on to study at the Manhattan School Of Music. It was there where Harold met the great pianist and composer, Andrew Hill, with whom he soon became the apprentice of. Mr. Hill was an apprentice of prolific composer Paul Hindemith. Harold's great-great-grandfather, Ollie Harold Pennington, was a jazz pianist and composer for silent film in Kansas City, Mo.

Notable Events[edit]

Electric Burma[edit]

On June 18, 2012, Harold performed with U2, Lupe Fiasco, Bob Geldof, Damien Rice, Angelique Kidjo and many other major artists for the presentation of Amnesty International's prestigious 'Ambassador of Conscience' Award to Aung San Suu Kyi. The award was originally announced from the stage when U2 played Croke Park in July 2009 - while the Burmese Nobel Peace Prize recipient was still under house arrest in Burma.

Global Citizen: World On Stage[edit]

On September 22, 2016, Harold performed with Aloe Blacc and Maya Jupiter for The Global Citizen Festival's The World On Stage, a night curated by Tom Morello and Jon Batiste. The evening was dedicated to several prominent speakers who addressed various causes—such as education, the refugee crisis, gender equality, poverty, hunger, and much more—and the presentation of the inaugural George Harrison Global Citizen award, presented by Paul Simon to Olivia and Dhani Harrison (George's widow and son).

The BLK SHP Bus Tours[edit]

Harold is a key member of Blk Shp (Black Sheep) -- a diverse collective of educators, entrepreneurs, and artists. With the recent Blk Shp Bus Tour the group traveled across the U.S. in search of untold American mentorship stories. Exploring a range of disciplines: from classroom experiences to museums to blacksmiths; BLK SHP partnered in this project with Pixar. Pixar—who are famous for their original and inspiring movies—co-hosted many of the Bus Tour workshops, having inspired the origin of BLK SHP back in 2012. Today, the BLK SHP community includes over 3,000 creative specialists in North America and abroad. Harold is proud to play his part.

Benjamin Franklin Medal and The Royal Society of Arts[edit]

On December 4, 2018, award-winning musician and composer Herbie Hancock received the Royal Society of Arts 2018 Benjamin Franklin Medal at an evening ceremony, held at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Charles Dickens, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, Karl Marx, William Hogarth, John Diefenbaker, and Stephen Hawking are some of our notable RSA members. Today there are more than 29,000 Fellows worldwide, including across the US. The Patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Christian McBride, Harold O'Neal and the University of Pennsylvania jazz band are just some of the musicians that will pay tribute to Mr. Hancock



Year Artist Title Label
2018 Harold O'Neal Piano Cinema
2013 Harold O'Neal Man On The Street Universal Music Group
2012 Cam'Ron And Vado BluTops Universal Music Group
2012 Ski Beatz 24 Hour Karate School Presents: Twilight Universal Music Group
2011 Ski Beatz 24 Hour Karate School 2 Universal Music Group
2011 Harold O'Neal Marvelous Fantasy Smalls Records
2010 Harold O'Neal Whirling Mantis Smalls Records
2008 Bobby Watson From The Heart Palmetto Records
2007 Ahmad Alaadeen And The Beauty Of It All ASR Records
2007 Harold O'Neal Charlie's Suite PME Records
2005 Ahmad Alaadeen New Africa Suite ASR Records
2005 Leron Thomas Dirty Draws Vol. 1 Leron Thomas
2003 Greg Osby St. Louis Shoes Blue Note Records

Film Scoring[edit]

Year Title Director Production Company
2015 Tomorrowland (Blast From The Past Theme) Brad Bird Walt Disney Pictures
2015 Tanu Weds Manu Returns (Old School Girl) Anand L. Rai Colour Yellow Pictures
2015 Loisaidas (Ballade Of Jean Grey) Damon Dash Exec. Prod. Kanye West Damon Dash Studios


Year Artist Title Label
2014 Tank Thanking You Atlantic Records
2014 Mali Music Ready Aim RCA Records
2014 Mali Music One RCA Records
2013 RaVaughn Feat Wale Better Be Good Sony Music Entertainment
2013 Bridget Kelly Goosebumps RocNation
2013 Gyptian Good Girls VP Records
2013 Gyptian Turn Me On VP Records
2012 Selah Sue Fade Away Because Music
2012 Ashanti Feat R. Kelly That's What We Do Written Entertainment
2012 Wonda Music Presents Feat Busta Rhymes Make It Shake Wonda Music
2012 Cam'Ron & Vado BluTops BluRoc
2011 Cassidy Majesty Universal Music Group
2011 Mikey Rocks Cotton Candy Universal Music Group
2011 Najee This World Universal Music Group
2011 Glc & Stat Quo You Already Know Universal Music Group
2011 MURS Reach Hire Universal Music Group
2011 MURS Westside Love Universal Music Group
2011 MURS Epic Salutations Universal Music Group
2011 MURS Hip Hop & Love Universal Music Group
2011 Mikey Rocks & Trademark Da Sky Diver Living It Up Universal Music Group
2011 Mac Miller As Time Goes By Universal Music Group
2011 Rugz D Bewler Thank God Universal Music Group
2011 Najee & Nicole Wray New York City Universal Music Group
2011 Locksmith Silly Negro Universal Music Group
2011 Locksmith The Bottom Universal Music Group
2011 Locksmith Going Numb Universal Music Group


Year Title Role Production Company
2009 Sucker Free Dancer MTV
2009 Jay Z feat Mr. Hudson Young Forever Male Dancer RocNation
2010 Boardwalk Empire Jazz Pianist HBO
2011 The Daily Habit Dancer Fuel TV
2012 U2: Electric Burma Musician RTE
2014 Keep On Keepin' On Himself Radius-TWC
Year Title Role Theatre
2013 Lady Day Sunny (Understudy) Little Shubert Theatre
Voice Over
Year Title Type Director
2018 The Blk Shp Bus Tour: Documentaries American (Generic) Chris Keener


External links[edit]