Bromery Center for the Arts

Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Uniondale, NY, Haneef N. Nelson has been a lifelong lover of music. His early music education continued at the famed Jazzmobile Program where he studied trumpet, music theory, as well as played in ensembles taught by jazz luminaries such as Eddie Preston, Cecil Bridgewater, Dr. Donald Byrd; John Stubblefield; Frank Foster; Charles Davis; Roland Guerrero as well as several others. Donald Byrd became a mentor outside of Jazzmobile along with his high school music teachers Cedric J. Lemmie from Uniondale High School and Dave Burns from the Long Island High School of the Arts.

These 3 mentors encouraged Haneef to apply for and attend the African-American Music Department at the Hartt School to be taught by its founder Jackie McLean. Along with Jackie McLean, Haneef studied with Steve Davis, Nat Reeves, Raymond Williams, Chris Casey, Mary DiPaola, and Roger Murtha. Years later he went on to study Jazz Composition and Arranging at UMASS Amherst where he studied with Jeff Holmes, Felipe Salles, Sal Macchia, Eric Berlin, and Fumi Tomita.

He’s been fortunate enough to perform with the likes of Yoron Israel, Avery Sharpe, Bill Saxton, Paul Brown, Feya Faku, Joe Ford, Charles Tolliver, Valery Ponomarev, Jesse Hameen, Wayne Escoffrey, Bill Lowe, Musiq Soulchild, Doobie Powell, and several others. His original music and Big Band arrangements have been featured around the world and on the records of the New London Big Band as well as Dr. Emmett Goods album Another Level.

Haneef holds a Bachelor of Music in African-American Music Study from the University of Hartford, a Master’s Degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging from UMASS Amherst, and will receive his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition from the Hartt School in May 2024.