Harold O'Neal

World renowned pianist, composer, recording artist, martial artist, and professional dancer.

Harold O'Neal photographed by Kevin AboschHarold O’Neal is a Pianist, Composer, Martial Artist, and Professional Dancer. He has a unique perspective of the world and is passionate about making change through the insights of the creative process. During the many years of his career,  he has performed  with U2 , has been featured in Jay-Z’s music video for the hit record “Young Forever”, and has even portrayed a piano playing hepcat in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”. Harold has the distinct talent to find the level of sameness through multiple disciplines. Aside from a lauded musical career, he holds a black belt in the martial arts, is an expert in shiatsu, and is an accomplished dancer. He has a unique ability to unlock creativity in whatever he pursues. 

Over the years, Harold has been featured on MTV, the 92Y’s “7 Days of Genius”, NPR’s “All Things Considered”, Public Radio International’s “Studio 360”, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, and many of the worlds largest publications.

He is world-renowned for developing his signature style of solo piano, being a fusion of early 20th century composers and modern music. The New York Times has compared his works to Duke Ellington and Maurice Ravel.

Harold is often invited to speak at conferences about improvisation, mentorship, collaboration, and the creative process. Previously, he has spoken at Google Cubed, McKinsey, Parliament’s Power Shift, Time Inc, The 92Y, KIN Global, PRI’s Ambassadors Council, and many of the world’s leading platforms on creativity and innovation.

“ Harold O’Neal captivates the room with his immense talents and gravitational presence. I invited Harold for a social impact event I produced at Google, and Harold set the tone marvelously. With the rooms energy in harmony, we were able to dig deeper with meaningful content. Kudos to Harold!”
– Alex Abelin, External Affairs Manager, Google

Improvisational musicians see the world in constant change, disrupting the status quo and the social standards for what is possible with innovation. This notion is key to the creative process. Spontaneous composition is what’s needed to make great change. With our joint efforts, we can create the future that we want to live in that benefits every living being.

“A piece of work that seems to be out there on its own. I have an idea where the music comes from, but I’m not hearing it anywhere else .”
– Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

Harold will speak on the creative process, revealing a glimpse into his mind, guiding you through every step, leaving you with an experience that can only bring transformation. He’ll also be tickling the ivories for you too, so be ready for a unique engagement.


Harold speaks expertly on a variety of topics. Below, you will find the descriptions of his two most popular topics. He also delivers speeches on: Mentorship, Improvisation in Communication, Change And Disruption, Creative Storytelling, and Collaborating With Others. Harold always customizes his presentations for every audience’s themes, topics, issues, and industry.

Connecting Through Creativity And Improvisation                                                                                                          

How many people have ever wanted to create something unique, but have not taken the leap? We all know that improvisation is a natural order to our existence, but how deep does that really go? Is it something that we can learn to do? Is it something that people are just born with, or both?

Working with Harold, you will find the answers to these questions and more, through his creative process and the revelations of what you already possess inside. With his methods and techniques, he will reveal the great improviser within you.

Take Aways:

  • Have an understanding of tools to unlock your creativity.
  • Experience first-hand the behind-the-scenes process of one of this generation’s greatest composers.
  • Have a new picture of the future of your creative voice.

The Path To Mastery                                                                                                                                                                                      

The path to mastery is a lone journey spanning decades of committed effort and work. What is the path like? What are the insights that reveal themselves along the way? What is it like to actually devote thousands upon thousands of hours into one highly developed skill?  What happens when you apply this to multiple disciplines? How can these insights affect of our lives and the people around us?

With over 30 years of experience, Harold shares his gifts and insights of becoming a master concert pianist. With him, you will discover the key to unlock the path to mastery within yourself. 

Take Aways:

  • A glimpse into the insights of mastery.
  • A connection to the internal process of self awareness through discipline. 
  • Have an understanding of the meaning of “practice makes perfect”, and how to apply it.


Harold’s Blogs:

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