Ney Mello - The art of  Freedom

"Inspired vision is released when virtuosity becomes embodied in oneself"-Ney Mello


Ney Mello was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He  is a part of an illustrious extended musical family in his native Brazil, counting among his cousins both sax legend Victor Assis Brazil and Gustavo Assis Brasil.He began teaching himself bass and guitar in 1973.

Ney has performed and recorded with jazz legend Dennis Chambers (John Mc Laughlin, Santana, Steve Winwood,Mike Stern, John Scofield, Funkadelic Bireli Lagrene,) Victor Williams ( John McLaughlin, Najee, Dennis Chambers) Scot Ambush ( Spyro Gyra ), Gary Grainger (John Scofield, Dennis Chambers), Matthew Mills ( Michael Angelo Batio, Joe Stump) Sean Rickman ( Shawn Lane, Fareed Haque ) Robert'Bobby" Muncy (DC jazz composers collective founder) Tabla mestro Broto Roy ( Ravi Shankar, Ashish Khan, Earth Wind and Fire, Oasis,) headlining at numerous International concert events in Brazil, Africa, and nationally  in the USA, notably: The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts, Blues Alley, The NAMM show Los Angeles, venues in New York City, Baltimore, and numerous other concert series and Festivals.


Ney began playing publicly in 1974 in Brasilia, with the renowned Brazilian pop musician Pericles Santana and toured as a bassist with various singer-songwriters in bands including modern Brazilian choro legend giant Reco do Bandolim. In 1976, he graduated in Musical Performance Technique and Musical Composition from the Escola de Música de Brasília (known as the EMB Music School) in Brasília. From 1975 to 1976 he studied classical guitar with Eustaquio Grilo. He graduated with bachelor and masters degrees from The Catholic University of America in 1982 and 85.


Jazz & Classical Worlds

The classical composer Icon Lindembergue Cardoso composed an electric guitar piece for Ney, and the piece was played by Ney under the baton of Claudio Santoro and the Brasilia Symphony Orchestra . Ney Mello received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from The Catholic University of America in 1982 and 1985, respectively.


Chamber Music Honors

Ney represented Brazil on classical guitar by invitation from the Brazilian government in the First Ibero-American Chamber Music Festival in Washington D.C. on October 28, 1998 playing Vila Lobos preludes, two compositions by Egberto Gismonti, and his original composition "Jogos De Mar" as featured soloist on classical guitar. He then retired from the classical music scene in order to focus on jazz, rock, electronic, bossa nova and film soundtrack music.

Ney has performed with renowned Indian Classical Tabla master Pandit Broto Roy in venues such as The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC,  BET Global Television Network. He also studied Indian Classical Music with Pandit Broto Roy and independently.



Ney Mello received 6 Wammie Award Nominations for his album “Voyages of Fire” in the categories of Best International Album, Best Classical Album, Best Ethnic Album, and Best Jazz Album. He is a voting member of The Recording Academy for the Grammy Awards. His album “Meditations,” was used as a soundtrack for an internet charity fundraising campaign, and received the first prize in a US government competition for Best National Multimedia Soundtrack and helped to raise more than a million dollars in charity funds.


The United Nations  Award Nomination

Ney Mello was nominated in 2004 for the prestigious international World Culture Open award in New York, USA under the auspices of The United Nations "for his outstanding contribution to humanity through culture as a creative force for human expression and peaceful co-existence."


Pioneering educator

He is considered to be one of the key pioneers in the systematic teaching of virtuoso plectrum techniques worldwide. He is one of the originators (in the early 1970s) of what has come to be known today as "economy picking" . He was one of the very first guitarists to scallop his fingerboard in 1973 after seeing a vina on the cover of a LP record by Indian classical musician Chitti Babu.


Celebrated Performances

In the early 1990s Ney Mello performed his compositions and improvisations for Vice President Al Gore at his birthday celebration in Washington DC. He also performed on solo guitar for First Lady Barbara Bush in Washington DC.


 #1 Hit record guest soloist recordings

Mello has been playing live, recording as guest soloist on various artist's records (including a Number One Hit and a Number Two SoundClick chart hit with singer Sherreece), and teaching privately since 1975. He has several musical instrument and audio equipment endorsement deals.


Master Classes

He has taught master classes at Howard University, Washington DC, The Academy of Vocal Arts, Philadelphia, and Towson University, Baltimore, as well as The Duke Ellington School Of The Arts, Washington DC. His former students include three time Grammy Award winner Herbert Vianna and English Polydor Records recording artist Steve Davidson from The Ian Brown   (Stone Roses Founder) Band.


Film Soundtrack Compositions - Hollywood & MTV

 Ney Mello is also film soundtrack music composer, including projects for MTV, DC film Festival, US government internet charity campaign ( 1st place award ).

Ney  was commissioned to compose, arrange  and record, two of his compositions (Le Soleil D'ananda, Remembrance) for the soundtrack of the first "Iron Man'' film starring Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow.


Breaking New Guitar Technical Ground

Ney Mello’s best-selling educational DVD “Maximum Speed Picking with Ney Mello” was released in 2008. It is the first DVD of its kind to completely analyze right hand string instrument plectrum (flat-pick) motion fundamentals in an unprecedented level of detail and precision.



Ney Mello's articles on musical expression, music and art philosophy, and advanced guitar technique are read worldwide by professional musicians, music students, and fans alike.