Neil was truly a pleasure to work with from the date we met until our wedding day. The ceremony music was perfect and intimate. Our cocktail hour was lively and unique! I recommend hiring Neil and let him do his thing! Laurie & Billy, Chicago, IL
Where do I begin?! Neil is talented, professional, and just a great all around guy! He plays beautifully and really cares about being a part of creating a wonderful wedding ceremony. He attended our rehearsal, even though we didn't ask him to. He was early to the rehearsal, when we were very late and early to to the ceremony. Our guests loved his style and he added so much the feel of the ceremony. I'd recommend Neil for any event!!! Maureen G., Chicago, IL
After the ceremony itself, Neil’s music was our guests’ favorite part of the wedding! Neil’s high level of skill and diverse repertoire set the perfect mood for our cocktail hour and ceremony. He went far out of his way to learn new material for our event, including contacting several artists whose recordings we liked in order to try to find the perfect arrangement, and was able to put together fantastic arrangements by ear when no sheet music was available, even with short notice. We were also especially impressed with the way that Neil balanced listening carefully to our vision for the event and providing valuable guidance when we weren’t sure what we wanted. Neil is a true artist and professional who comes highly recommended. Katie & Dave, Chicago IL
Neil and his music were the perfect addition to the ambience of our wedding, and without it, we wouldn't have had the magical evening we had hoped for. There was not a dry eye in the house when we danced to "Everlasting Light" , and a lot of that had to do with the heart and soul Neil put in to all that he did. Our wedding night is something we will hold near and dear to our hearts throughout the rest of our lives. We can't thank Neil enough for being such a huge part of it. Charlie & Betsy Dahl, Chicago, IL
My new wife and I couldn't be happier with Neil. A significant number of our wedding guests commented on the excellence of our ceremony music. Neil's professionalism is beyond measure. He communicated with us in a timely manner and even gave us some well needed advice. I highly recommend him for any engagement and will gladly hire him again. David J., Chicago, IL
Neil was a true professional. Not only did he play flawlessly and beautifully at our wedding and reception, but he even learned a new song just for the communion part of our ceremony. As friendly as he is talented, I'd recommend Neil Dixon Smith to anyone for any occasion. Thank so much, Neil. You were a wonderful part of our special day! Kimmy & David
Neil was awesome! He arrived very early and was very self-sufficient in finding where he needed to be. He was a pleasure to work with, and the music was lovely. Neil's enthusiastic music was the perfect start to a day of conference meeting. I would definitely recommend him. Emily S, Chicago, IL
Mr. Neil Dixon Smith performance was outstanding! All our guest had only positive comments and claimed they truely enjoyed his music. I would most definitely contract him again; no doubt. He was on time, he played all night. His music provided the perfect ambiance to our event. He was a true professional. Sincerely, Lilia Berrun Jarrell, TX.
My company booked Neil Dixon Smith for a corporate event which had a Latin American theme. He was very professional and had a great demeanor. More importantly, his guitar playing was excellent. Neil played a variety of Latin American music including South American tunes, which was perfect for our event. I would highly recommend him. Rick A., Chicago, IL
“We hired Neil as the guitarist for our wedding ceremony on April 26, 2014. We absolutely couldn’t have been happier with his performance, his professionalism, and his personality. Neil was incredibly patient and accommodating with all of our requests. He even went the extra mile and learned two specific songs (Love Me Tender and Perfect For Me) that we had requested be played during the ceremony. His designated wedding repertoire is phenomenal. He also played a nice background tune during the candle lighting ceremony and the passage reading. Having an acoustic guitarist was such a special and memorable touch for our small wedding ceremony, and we are so incredibly pleased with how Neil presented himself both in person at the ceremony and his professionalism through e-mail correspondence planning for and leading up to our special day. If you’re considering hiring an acoustic guitarist for your wedding or other special event, look no further! Neil will certainly not disappoint. He very obviously has a real, heart-felt dedication to making his customers happy, exceeding expectations, and making those special events truly special. R. Towell, Chicago, IL
Neil was absolutely fabulous. Very professional and accommodating to our requests. Super friendly and all around a great performer. Jasmin Perez
Fabulous! Fabulous!! What a great talent! We were very impressed. Loved his music. All communication with him before the event was done in a professional and courteous manner. Super nice. Lisa Evans, Chicago, IL
I reached out to Neil via his recommended listing on TheKnot.com. After talking wedding details with a colleague a few weeks later, I learned that she had worked with Neil previously and had nothing but great things to say about him. I can now say the same. Neil was fantastic to work with from the start. His attention to detail, responsiveness and above-and-beyond professionalism made things easy on us and his amazing talent made our wedding and reception beautiful. I would recommend Neil to anyone for any engagement –large or small – if you’re looking for a personal and beautiful ambiance for your event. Andrea Rodgers, Chicago, IL
Thank you so much Neil, for playing such beautiful music at our wedding. You are so talented, and your gift for music created a truly warm and loving atmosphere for our ceremony. We have received lots and lots of comments from many of our guests about how much they enjoyed your sound and how it really enhanced the cocktail hour and overall ambiance of our event. We could not be more pleased with every aspect of your performance and contribution to our special day. Thank you again, for being so easy to work with and for everything you did to make our day so wonderful! We will always remember you and the music on our wedding day! Cara Miller, Chicago, IL
Neil was great. He arrive promptly, played with minimal breaks. His music was beautiful and really helped create a positive ambiance in the room. We would definitely reach out to Neil for our next event. Jerry Barmore, Chicago, IL
Neil Dixon Smith was an amazing addition to the Mingle at the Mansion fundraising event. Not only is he a talented guitarist, but he was also very professional. Highly recommended! Kathy Goers, Libertyville, IL
Neil was AMAZING and really made a huge impact on our event. The guests loved him and he was really easy to work with! Christine Elkhoury, Chicago, IL
Neil was absolutely perfect for our event! His warmth, professionalism, artistry and selections won rave reviews from everyone. Without question, we would hire him for our next event and so would many of our guests. Thanks, again, especially Neil. Marie Kisiel, Chicago, IL
Neil played our ceremony and cocktail hour music for our 2012 wedding. During the planning process, I had a specific vision for my ceremony music. I wanted something really meaningful to us- but also unique with a Latin flair. I found Neil's website and loved his music. He learned two rock songs to play for the ceremony and played an awesome mix of Spanish Classical and Latin American music during the cocktail hour. Neil was extremely professional and fun to work work. He helped to make our wedding very special. Thank you Neil! Danielle Garcia, Chicago, IL
Neil played for our ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner, and his music helped make our wedding beautiful. The entire experience was smooth and painless, and Neil offered great customer service throughout. He came to our apartment several months before the wedding to help us choose a mix of traditional and Spanish music for the wedding (and really, he helped us plot out the ceremony) and play some sample reception and dinner music. We had an outdoor wedding at Millcreek Barns in Michigan, and the guitar set the mood perfectly for our ceremony and reception. Neil graciously paused several times throughout dinner as our guests broke into song (we asked them to sing a "love" song rather than clink glasses if they wanted us to kiss), and even gently reminded us that it was time to cut the cake if we wanted to stick to our schedule. Guests raved about our music, and we'd definitely hire Neil again if we had to do it over! Fran & Jason, Chicago, IL
Neil is an amazing, gifted guitarist. We decided to add guitar music to our graduation party. Everyone commented on the beautiful music. Neil played just the right music to stand out but also be background for good conversations. He is a wonderful, polite person in addition to being talented. We ended up moving him from outside to inside and he was incredibly easy going about it. Angie Butcher, Glenview IL
Thank you so much for doing such a wonderful job of performing at our wedding! Everyone loved the beautiful music throughout the ceremony and cocktail hour. From the planning phase to the day of the wedding, you made us the happiest couple and our vision come alive! The could not have been more perfect! We will happily recommend you to anyone we know searching for an amazing guitarrista! Jose and Alexis, Chicago, IL
We had a great time with Neil. All our guests loved him. He is nice, talented and very professional. He helped to make the event special. He would be highly recommended by us. Basia Gambino, Chicago, IL
Neil was amazing! He did an incredible job and I heard great things from all of our guests. Meanwhile, he was great to work with and extremely open to accommodating our individual requests, while providing his professional opinion/expertise. I would definitely book him again if the opportunity/event came up. Emily Bruce, Three Oaks, MI
Neil has a great gift and knows how to entertain a crowd. We a grateful to have him play at our events. Metropolitan Capital Bank, Chicago, IL
We were delighted with Neil's presentation, selection, and willingness to work with us. We would highly recommend him and his playing to anyone looking for a great classical guitarist. Time flew by too quickly. His fee was reasonable, he worked with our time frame and seemed to bend over backwards to be as accommodating as possible. We loved him and his playing. Thank you for your part in directing us to him. Michael Di Cicco, Chicago, IL
Neil was great. He learned songs for us for our ceremony & played his own selection of music for the reception. He met with us before our event and arrived early to take part in a walk through. We received many compliments on his playing from our guests. During the reception we noticed that he did a great job of adjusting his music selections to really fit the changing atmosphere of the room. We cannot thank him enough for helping make our wedding a success. Alexa Webster-Clark, Chicago, IL
In looking for what type of music to have at our recent wedding, we wanted to incorporate some live music that matched our wedding atmosphere...something beautiful, festive and understated. Neil's skills on the guitar were perfect for our chapel wedding ceremony. He played songs both within his repertoire and some of our choices that he learned just for our wedding. Neil's music & the mood continued throughout our pre-dinner cocktail hour and then dinner, including many Latin themed songs. Our experience with Neil was incredible. He was extremely professional and met with us in person prior to the wedding to get to know us and our tastes. We highly recommend him! Cheryl Carpenter, Grand Rapids, MI
Thanks, Neil, for such a great performance at our wedding last month. Multiple people commented on how great the guitarist was. We really appreciated the songs you learned for us and the recording you sent of Lullaby was awesome. We are totally using that when we put together our online photo album. We will definitely recommend you to anyone who asks. Justin Colville, Chicago, IL
It was a pleasure to work with Neil. He came about 45 minutes ahead of starting time, set everything up and played continuously, only stopping when I insisted that he have something to eat. He selected just the right type of music, and I heard many positive comments from the guests. Leora Douraghy, Chicago, IL
Neil went above and beyond all of our other vendors for our wedding. He learned three new songs and took even more time out of his personal schedule to practice AND record them with our vocalist. We sent the songs to our videographer, who will use them in our wedding video so that we can relive our favorite moments of the ceremony forever. Our guests gave us numerous compliments on our fabulous guitarist (Neil) and thoroughly enjoyed our ceremony and cocktail hour music that he provided. Neil is an incredibly talented and extremely professional musician and we would recommend him to every couple looking for a wedding instrumentalist. Amy Pariser, Chicago, IL
Neil is an amazing musician! He has performed at several of my wine and food pairing classes and has been a huge hit. His acoustic guitar is a delightful addition to my class and my customers LOVE IT! Each of my classes has a distinct theme and Neil has a beautiful way of making sure his songs fit perfectly with the night. Love Neil, Love his music and will absolutely continue to include him in my events. Krunch Kretschmar, Chicago, IL
We were so fortunate to have Neil Dixon Smith perform at my mother's memorial service. As soon as I heard his samples online, I knew he'd bring the right spirit to our event: thoughtful, emotional, pure. Not only was Neil a wonderful player, but he "read the room" beautifully and adjusted his performance on the fly to match the mood. Neil told me that he actually enjoys the fine art of being a "background" performer, helping to create an emotional tapestry for each event. That's true... but he's also a magnificent "foreground" performer when the spotlight falls on him. We experienced both "Neils" at our family event, and we're deeply grateful to both of them. Christy K, Highland Park, IL
Neil was such a wonderful addition to our wedding day. In addition to playing his usual wedding repertoire, Neil was able to accommodate a special request and execute it beautifully. We received lots of compliments on the music and would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a musician to make their special day or event even more special. Christine Robinson, Chicago, IL
We were so fortunate to have Neil Dixon Smith perform at my mother's memorial service. As soon as I heard his samples online, I knew he'd bring the right spirit to our event: thoughtful, emotional, pure. Not only was Neil a wonderful player, but he "read the room" beautifully and adjusted his performance on the fly to match the mood. Neil told me that he actually enjoys the fine art of being a "background" performer, helping to create an emotional tapestry for each event. That's true... but he's also a magnificent "foreground" performer when the spotlight falls on him. We experienced both "Neils" at our family event, and we're deeply grateful to both of them. Adam Bezark, Highland Park, IL
We want to thank Neil so much for providing the beautiful music during our ceremony and cocktail hour! We really appreciated his willingness to meet with us throughout the planning process and for taking time to attend our rehearsal the day before the wedding. We can tell that he is truly passionate about what he does and that makes all the difference! Chris & Joanna Swartout, Chicago, IL
Neil was wonderful to work with. He is a very talented musician and his music enhanced our wedding reception. He was very accomodating to our needs and requests. We have received many compliments from our wedding guests in regard to Neil and his music. We were extremely satisfied with Neil. We would invite him to play again and would recommend him to anyone! Melissa Swan, Green Bay WI
Neil Dixon Smith was the perfect choice for our wedding! A talented professional, Neil was available on short notice; he communicated with us promptly and in detail, anticipating our questions and needs; and with minimal direction from us, he put together lovely, appropriate, and, yes, perfect set lists for our pre-ceremony, processional, recessional, and post-ceremony music. We would hire him again in a heartbeat! Deanna McBeath, Chicago IL
Neil was the perfect final addition to our wedding ceremony! After searching on the internet for a couple of months for some sort of musician for our ceremony, I realized I wanted a Spanish Guitar player due to the ambiance I wanted to give during the ceremony. It was not an easy task since our budget was tight and this was a last minute idea I had come up with, but when I found Neil I knew he was the one I wanted. Everything from his website to his pictures poured out professionalism and I could just tell he was amazingly talented without even listening to him. Neil was super flexible, given the fact that we had a Friday wedding, and even worked with our budget. He was always available for questions or concerns through email or phone and he made me feel completely at ease with that portion of our ceremony that he was handling. I couldn't have loved his music more that day and all of our guests complimented us on his music and professionalism. I will always recommend Neil to any bride looking for a musician on her wedding day and I hope one day I can hire him again! Gabrielle Brandenburg, Cicero, IL
Hiring Neil to play at our outdoor wedding ceremony was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding! On just a very short notice, Neil was very accommodating, knew exactly what style of ambiance we were looking for our ceremony and was willing to aid us through the process of choosing music. Neil, with no doubt in our mind, set the tone for our ceremony. His music was pure, uplifting, romantic and inspirational. After the ceremony, all of our guests made a point to comment on how beautiful the music truly was. With no hesitation at all, we wouldn’t think twice about hiring Neil again. We recommend him to everyone looking for that special scenery music! Jake & Jen Meyer
I was very pleased with Neil's performance at our "Blue Christmas" Service. He was incredibly sensitive to the fact that the event was more somber, and transitioned in and out of his solo silently and gracefully. I feel that his professionalism and his talent help him adapt to any event--I highly recommend him! Anne Graves, Woodridge (IL) United Methodist Church
Neil Dixon Smith provided exactly what we wanted for our wedding ceremony! He helped us chose the right songs for our event and attended our rehearsal in order to be sure he understood exactly what we wanted! We were impressed with his talent and received lots of positive feedback from our guests. We look forward to seeing Neil perform again sometime soon! J. Darrow, Chicago, IL
I can't thank Neil enough for truly creating the atmosphere and ambiance of our party. I hired Neil as a surprise for my girlfriend's 30th birthday party at her photography studio. Everyone was extremely impressed with Neil's music. He is extremely talented and professional. I HIGHLY recommend him for a private event or party. T. Berre, Chicago, IL
Many thanks to Neil for being such a wonderful addition to our wedding! We first heard Neil play at the Green City Market; and we felt that his music would create the mood we wanted for our wedding reception. Neil played during the cocktail hour and dinner portions of the wedding. So many guests commented on how his music contributed to the elegance and uniqueness of the party. His music elevated the event to something more than your typical wedding. At one point during dinner Jason and I commented to each other about Neil and his music, and said "He sounds great. This is exactly what I pictured." Dana and Jason, Chicago, IL
Neil Dixon Smith is one of my greatest finds! As an event planner and producer, I am always looking for the best talent. Thankfully, Neil is not only the most talented guitarist I've ever hired but he is a consummate professional. He is so easy to work with, has a great attitude and a willingness to do what needs to be done.
I know that when I bring Neil onto an event, that I have guaranteed myself one less thing to worry about. Clients love him. Guests rave about him. I praise him. Two big thumbs up, a cheer and a fist pump for Mister Neil Dixon Smith. Shannon Downey, Owner, Pivotal Production
After a friend sent me the link to Neil's website, I knew his music would be perfect for Growing Home's Annual Benefit. Our benefit is all about making people feel welcome and connecting them to the spirit of our organization, and the Spanish-inflected instrumental guitar set just the right tone. May guests emailed me after the event to ask about our musician! Neil was incredibly professional and easy to work with. When he arrived at the site, all of our staff were in the middle of trying to finish things, and he was able to get set up and playing with little direction. I'd happily work with him again, either for Growing Home or at my own event. Rebekah Silverman, Growing Home, Inc.
Our wedding planner recommended Neil and we are so thankful that she did. Trying to find a musician for one of the most special moments in your life is not necessarily an easy task, but from the moment we met, Neil's professionalism and most importantly, his personal touch were evident. Neil listened to our vision, observed us as a couple and then helped us craft the perfect musical selection. What impressed me most about Neil was his willingness to not only meet with us in person to provide a demonstration, but to also keep in constant communication until we finalized all of the small details. In addition to his elegant musical style and skill, Neil is first and foremost a normal guy (with phenomenal talent) that anyone can identify with and this made working with him an absolute pleasure. We should also mention the numerous compliments we received from our guests on the unique selection we chose and his amazing skill! We recommend Neil to anyone looking for a talented, cool and professional musician and hope to use him again in the future! Thank you for an amazing ceremony! Duane & Renee Jackson, Chicago, IL
"While my husband and I were dating, we "discovered" Neil at the Green City Market. We took his card and hoped for a day when we would be able to utilize his services. When my husband proposed and we started planning our wedding, I went to Neil's website and was ecstatic that his performance calendar showed availability for our special day. I will never forget the image of Neil performing during our cocktail hour on the rooftop of a Marina hotel pointed towards Lake Michigan. Neil provided the perfect music for such a beautiful backdrop. His music and persona were absolutely "instrumental" (pun intended) in creating a special and unique ambiance for our guests. Thank you, Neil. We hope to book you for our 10-year anniversary celebration!" Jolene Sullivan, Chicago, IL
We thank Neil so much for going above and beyond in preparing for our wedding! I can't tell you how much it helped me sleep better at night knowing that he was so diligent, and his talent really made it a beautiful day. In addition to the solo pieces he performed as part of the ceremony, he also rehearsed and performed duets with one friend who played harmonica, and another who had written and sang an original song for the event. April Mendez, Chicago, IL
I could not have asked for better music at my wedding, I love Neil's guitar style, professionalism and personal style, he not only sounded wonderful, but looked cool too! We went over music I liked beforehand and he sent me a disk to listen to which was very helpful. I would recommend Neil to play at anyone's wedding, he's so talented and versatile! Lauren Naimola, Ypsilanti, MI
We hired Neil Dixon Smith for our May 10, 2008 wedding in Chicago. Neil was a pleasure to work with from the time we chose to have him play for our ceremony and cocktail hour to the day of our wedding. Prior to our first meeting a few months before our wedding, Neil sent us a CD so that we could get a sense of his style. He also committed to learning a few songs that were important to incorporate into our wedding ceremony. When we first met Neil, we knew we had a great fit. Neil came to our condo and played his music for us for a while and even showed us the songs that he was learning for our special day. We were very impressed with his talent, punctuality and attitude. He was the right mix of easy going and focused on making sure the music was exactly what we wanted for our special day. On our wedding day, Neil arrived with plenty of time to set up and get a feel of the location and played beautiful music during our ceremony. Although I wasn't really present during our cocktail hour due to pictures, we heard from our guests that his music was beautiful and festive but not too loud. We wanted to make sure that our guests could talk and that his music was in the background. He delivered on this. We really enjoyed working with Neil and hope we have an event that requires his attendance soon. Sara Schulte, Chicago, IL
Thank you so much for providing such beautiful music on our wedding day. So many of our guests commented on your music, saying how perfect it was with the setting, and how you helped create such a beautiful, peaceful, relaxed feeling. Thank you! You really helped set the mood that we were looking for. K.H., Chicago, IL
Neil was wonderful at my wedding. He arranged a song for the processional and handled all the "pre-show" and recessional music as well. He was professional, courteous, and very talented. I hope I never have to get married again, but if I do, I'd use Neil! Bonnie Varner, Evanston, IL
My husband and I hired Neil to perform a highly customized musical ensemble for our wedding ceremony. This was after the band we had booked months prior, completely backed out about 3 days before our wedding. Yes, I was out of my mind.
Neil came to us, highly recommended by a good friend familiar with Neil and his music. Panicked and only days before our wedding, my husband and I were able to host a phone consultation with Neil to discuss our needs and go over the details of the meticulous, musical project that was our marital ceremony. During the call, we described to him what we were looking for; a series of unique, beautifully romantic and moving pieces, that were inspired by Romanian gypsy folk music. The pieces needed to be creatively organized and transitioned to reflect the changing pace and emotion of the ceremony as it unfolded. Our proceedings were to be set entirely to music, from beginning to end. The musical arrangements had to respond to the actual progress of the ceremony while evoking the appropriate nuances and melodies as the action changed. Needless to say, this was no small task and certainly not at the last minute. To our delight and relief, Neil handled each of our requests amazingly. He began sampling pieces for us over the phone which won our confidence quickly.
On my wedding day, the first experience I had of Neil’s performance, was through my father, an avid fan of classical guitar, who took to running in and out of my pre-ceremony quarters, excitedly exclaiming that the music was amazing. My mother, a lifelong musician herself, was equally thrilled with him and reassured me that everything was going beautifully. I was unimaginably relieved.
I saw and heard Neil for the first time when I entered the ceremony hall and began to walk down the aisle with my father at my side. From within the myriad of emotions that happen during that moment, I heard the music and it was gorgeous. Neil played as though we had been orchestrating and rehearsing our wedding for months, as though each of my steps was writing the sound. Throughout the duration of the ceremony, he was seamless on his queues, which again, for him were all visual. My guests were enthralled by his playing and I received innumerable complements on the music and arrangement of the ceremony – that it was “intimate”, “unique” and “meaningful”.
As for his professional demeanor, he is superb. Yes, on time. Yes, polite, discrete and polished. My experience with Neil was brilliant and I cannot praise enough his excellent ear and aptness. He is an incredibly skilled professional who created for our wedding day an absolutely beautiful, intimate atmosphere with his music. Amanda Buckman, Chicago, IL
"We have nothing but praise for Neil! He played music for our reception in June 2007 and he played beautifully for all 4 hours. He was extremely professional and prompt. He was flexible and very responsive to all of our crazy last minute questions before booking and right before the wedding. He was even willing to learn songs (with a few months lead time) though we did not take advantage. He met with us to walk through the wedding and had good suggestions for how to structure the entertainment. Of all the vendors that we had to work with for the wedding, he was by far our favorite.
We had originally heard Neil at the Green City Market and liked what we heard. After contacting him, he gave us more demos of his work and we really enjoyed it. We especially enjoyed the variety of the Latin, Jazz and Classical guitar songs. Our guests thought that the music was great and that it really fit with the tone of our reception. (Classy and elegant were the two most common adjectives used to describe the wedding and reception.)" Jessica Walters and Michael Macaluso, Chicago, IL
The first thing we decided when we started planning our wedding was that we wanted Neil to play during the ceremony and everything else seemed to fall into place around that decision. Neil was such a joy to work with and played even more beautifully than we had imagined. He intuitively knew where and when to play during the ceremony and I cannot imagine the wedding without his music. We feel so lucky that he played at our wedding and we're glad that we got to know him. Sarah and Keith Hendrix, Chicago, IL
Neil, has continuously provided an amazing music to the Green City Market that not only adds to the beauty of the market but also puts a smile on the faces of the patrons that come to visit. Since Neil proved himself as such an asset over the many years he’s played at the Green City Market this past year we were proud to announce him as the exclusive musical artist at the Green City Market’s winter market. A great person to work with and an artist that offers beautiful music time and time again, Neil is a great valuable asset that we love having around. Zach Yarnoff, Chicago Green City Market