Dee Dee McNeil, born in Detroit, Michigan, spent her early musical life as a contract songwriter for Motown Record Company. Her music has been recorded by Nancy Wilson, Jonah Jones, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Gladys Knight & the Pips, David Ruffin, The Four Tops, Edwin Starr and the wife of late, great Reggae master Bob Marley, Rita Marley, to name only a few. Although she is successful commercially, McNeil’s roots and real passion have always embraced jazz music. She’s a diverse writer, poet, plays piano, sings professionally and has written a number of plays and children’s stories. Her freelance articles and CD reviews have appeared in Essence, Pathfinders Travel Magazine, Cadence Magazine, All About Jazz and many more publications, both in this country and abroad. She was the original lady who recorded with the historic Watts Prophets spoken-word group in the early 70’s. Their “Rappin’ Black in a White World” LP was nominated for an NAACP Award long before rap became popular. Her original song, “What Is A Man” (sampled from that LP) was used in the motion picture “Higher Learning.” As part of the first spoken-word group to put danceable music to poetry, she became an opening act for Roberta Flack, Les McCann, Richard Pryor, and many others. Ms. McNeil is currently producing jazz concerts helping keep jazz music alive; raising the pay scale for jazz musicians; introducing jazz to a younger audience and at the same time, sharing historic facts about some of our great jazz artists, who are too often taken for granted. In 2001, Dee Dee won the National BET (Black Entertainment Television) Jazz Discovery Contest, competing with vocalists all over the country. When she is not performing at jazz clubs, she is a part-time vocal coach at the Music Perforrnance Academy (MPA) in Alhambra where she also teaches Artist Development.