Truly, this day has been a long time coming...Brian O'Neal has been top-of-mind for your host here for a while. And it's not just because of the truth in his music. I've known that for years! But besides being the consummate musician, songwriter, and creative force in the industry, Brian is also a tireless advocate for the homeless. I'm talking to-the-WALL advocate. A man who has frequently given up the comfort of day-to-day living in order to walk in the shoes (or none) of those who don't have anywhere to call home. And, yes, he has even given up his home to make the point.
Credit must be given to how Brian was raised. Drum lessons at six, an interest in sax/bass/trombone, and falling in love with piano as a teen was certainly part of the personal evolution. But it was Daisy O'Neal, Brian's Grandmother, who set those musical and humanitarian wheels into further motion.
Daisy was a believer in giving back to the world for all the blessings that you receive while you live in it - and buying a piano for Brian when he showed passion for playing was only part of it. She fostered in him a love for people, especially those who have no voice. Or cannot use the one they have. So, Brian organized The Do Foundation. Named in honor of Daisy.
So, what we have here is a gentleman who has scored successes in multi-genres of music, particularly Contemporary Jazz - and an artist whose skills have been sought after or worthy to be heard alongside of household names. AND a philanthropist who has changed the lives of many because of the sheer passion and will to make life bearable for the homeless.
Let's hear about this journey as Brian visits the show on Thursday, December 20th. Can there be a better guest to end the year? We'll wrap up 2012 with a big bow - and a "Bean" (Brian's nickname :)
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