neil hogan

 

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Neil Hogan was born in 1956 in Southern California. When he was 8 years old his family moved to Los Gatos, in Northern California. He started taking guitar lessons the next year and by the middle of 8th grade he was giving lessons to a couple of 7th graders at Union Junior High School.

He continued studying and teaching through his years at Leigh High School in San Jose and a couple of years at West Valley Junior College. After giving private lessons at some local music stores for a few years, he opened his own studio in Los Gatos in 1979. He and Greg Burger hung out a common shingle, and called their new studio Joplin & Sweeney Music. The business was named in honor of a couple of major influences in their lives- Scott Joplin, who ragtime music inspired Neil to try to arrange ridiculously complex piano pieces into totally unplayable guitar pieces, and Joel Walker Sweeney, a 19th century medicine show troubador who is credited with adding a 5th string to Greg's instrument of choice at the time, the banjo, effectively enabling bluegrass music to take off in the early 20th century.

In the mid 1980s, Neil got an unusual gig at Christmas time, playing solo guitar at a local Macy's department store 5 hours a day, for the 12 days before Christmas. After a few days he had quite a repertoire of holiday music which led him to recording the tunes a little later and releasing his 1st album, A Christmas Collection. Over the next 6 months he focused on arranging Beatles tunes in a similar manner and released A Beatles Collection in 1989. A couple of years later he turned his attention toward the classic American Songbook and recorded Yesterday's News, which included a few of his original guitar pieces.

Neil continued teaching and writing over the next few years and has since released 3 albums of his own compositions. Joplin & Sweeney Music is in the process of making all 6 CDs available as mp3 downloads. The guitar arrangements to most of the pieces are available as well.

Neil and his wife Nani still live in the neighborhood that Neil grew up in with their 3 children, Cory, Rebecca, and Elizabeth. He continues to teach and is working on getting his unique style of teaching online, in an effort to help guitar players around the world.

For more details check out Neil's autobiography- The Long Story.