Butterfly

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His Life

Darnell Neely took his first breath shortly before dawn on the morning of March 31, 1971, in Brooklyn, NY. His life has never been the same since. His father, born in America's musical heartland, Tennessee, was an African-American serviceman stationed in Panama, who met and married Darnell's mother there. His mother's side of the family, of mixed Spanish, French and Indian blood, was typical of the mixture of people and influences that characterize Panama. This varied background has carried over into Darnell's creative life also.

Darnell's father died when he was a child, and his childhood and early adolescence were difficult. Through it all the courage and determination of his mother to make it good in her new country were a constant source of strength. Raised with a lot of the Latin values of his mother's native land Darnell often found himself an outsider looking in, but because of his natural empathy, never alienated from what he saw.

At the age of 15 he discovered his true vocation; Music, and taught himself the piano. His new direction was established by his acceptance at the O'farrell School of Performing Arts in San Diego, CA. Here the heady combination of music, dance and drama confirmed his determination to lead the life of a creator. At Sixteen he fell in love; he discovered the Guitar. He found that the immediacy and responsiveness of the Guitar engaged him; body, mind and soul. It was the beginning of a match made in Heaven. In his Senior year at O'farrell, in competition with thousands of the most talented high school students in California, Darnell applied to and was accepted at the prestigious California Arts University in Valenica. His exposure there to so many new directions was a revelation of the possibilities of what technology could bring to creativity. Darnell worked on his own musical vision from graduation in 1989 until 1994, when he entered a creative partnership that lead to the formation of the alternative rock band Throwin Stones, in which Darnell wrote and arranged most of the songs, played lead guitar, and performed lead and backup vocals.

December of 1995 brought not only the end of the old year, but the end of the old Darnell. An acute intestinal blockage brought Darnell close to the gates of death. Emergency surgery brought him back to us, but with a new depth that only the vision of the far country can give to a man.

Though Darnell survived, the band Throwin Stones never quite recovered from the trauma; and even though, on his recovery, Darnell gave it his best shot, personnel difficulties lead to its break-up in early '97. Now Darnell pursues new avenues with the former drummer of Throwin Stones, Scott Overley, in Universal Smile.

His Music


What Hayden said of Mozart is certainly true of Darnell; he has an unerring sense of musical taste, he knows how the music should sound, and he has the talent and musical skill to translate his musical intuition into composition and performance. Driven by a sense of perfectionism, Darnell is hard on himself so his music can be easy on his audience. However, easy does not mean insipid and bland! Like those favorite teachers that you remember all of your life, Darnell is able to make the mysterious accessible and the sublime a friendly hand that you can grasp.

For further information or bookings contact
Butterfly
744 Carefree Dr.
San Diego, CA. 92114
Email uvsmile@ixpres.com

Created 06.07.97 by webmaster@v-music.com

Updated 03.23.98