Neal Hellman, nationally acclaimed performer and teacher of the mountain dulcimer, has been active in performing, writing, teaching, and recording acoustic music for the past 30 years.
Neal’s latest recording, Emma’s Waltz, is a colorful dance through traditional and contemporary acoustic music styles. Featuring seventeen different musicians playing compositions from Ireland, Scotland, Finland, America and France.
Neal's other recordings include: Autumn In the Valley, Dream of the Manatee (with Joe Weed) and Oktober County, all on the Gourd Music label. In collaboration with Joe Weed, Neal wrote the score for Princess Furball, a children's video by Weston Woods which won a 1993 American Library Association Commendation.
An original composition, written by Neal and performed by Jay Unger and Molly Mason, is featured on the Ken Burns production Not for Ourselves Alone. Neal has placed a number of other tracks on the films of Ken Burns including Horatio's Drive, National Parks: America's Best Idea and the upcoming production of The Dust Bowl (2012).
He is the author of many books on the Appalachian dulcimer, including Celtic Songs & Slow Airs for Mountain Dulcimer, The Dulcimer Chord Book,The Hal Leonard Dulcimer Method, and Music of the World for Mountain Dulcimer.
As founder, director and one of the primary artists of the Gourd Music record label, Neal has produced over forty albums, including Simple Gifts, The Fairie Round, Tender Shepherd, The World Turned Upside Down and Jefferson’s Fiddle, creating a uniquely distinctive sound, featuring a variety of acoustic instrumental ensembles, rich in texture and tonal color.