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Guitarist for John Legend, Jill Scott and Common, committed educator and creator of music.
Ben O'Neill has toured the world with some of the most acclaimed and successful artists of our time, including John Legend, Jill Scott and Common. He has been teaching guitar and coaching ensembles as a part of the UArts faculty since 2011.
Ben O’Neill graduated from UArts in 2004 after studying with virtuoso Jimmy Bruno, renowned educator Tom Giacabetti and jazz legend Pat Martino. While in college, he was a part of the groundbreaking gospel group Tye Tribbett and G.A., an experience that opened the door to his career touring and recording in gospel, R&B, hip hop and pop.
O’Neill has appeared as a sideman in a vast amount of national media, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, Today, The Tonight Show and other programs.
O’Neill has released several albums under his own name, contributed to numerous collaborations and co-writing projects, including with Bilal, RVLVR, Laurin Talese and Tye Tribbett.
He composed and recorded Ungoverned Transformations, Constructed Improvisations, a 2020 multidisciplinary instrumental album with film company Oh Yeah Cool.
O’Neill is the co-leader of the Mini Q's, a soulful jazz organ trio that has released several albums.
“What Christmas Means to Me” (Live from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)
Awards & Accolades
- O’Neill has been playing guitar with John Legend since 2015. During the same period, he accompanied Jill Scott on five consecutive U.S. tours.
- With Eric Roberson, He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009 (Best Urban Alternative).
- O’Neill was on the Recording Academy’s Board of Governors from 2017 to 2019.