Neil & Janet

de los EEUU

Neil & Janet de los EEUU is the partnership of percussionist Janet Cramer and guitarist Neil Dixon Smith.

Neil & Janet de los EEUU are an instrumental guitar & drum duo from Chicago, who perform classic tunes and folkloric dance rhythms from across Latin America, especially music of Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia. Their performance balances a dedication to style with taking these grooves as a launching point for improvisation, digging into African polyrhythms and minimalist trance music. All in the spirit of fun, and pan-American unity.

Janet Cramer was actually born in Australia but grew up in Wichita, KS, and earned a Masters in Music Performance from Wichita State University before moving to Chicago to dive into the blues scene.

Playing Afro-Cuban and Brazilian styles eventually took to the fore and Janet has become part of a small but increasingly expanding community of women bata players.  She has been a student of Michael Spiro since 1993 and consequently has traveled to Cuba and studied with some of the master drummers of Afro-Cuban folkloric music, Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Grupo Afrocuba de Matanzas, Jesus Diaz, just to name a few. 

You should check out her Latin jazz band Grupo Paz.

To learn more about Janet, check out

Neil Dixon Smith hails from Syracuse NY but got his start in music in Ann Arbor/Detroit in the 1990s as a rhythm guitarist in reggae and funk/disco/house bands as well as more experimental and ecstatic original music projects.

Neil moved to Chicago in 1999 where he serendipitously met the Chilean master guitarist Aflonso Chacon. Neil apprenticed with Alfonso for a decade, learning classical guitar technique through a unique repertoire of South American folkloric styles, playing in Chacon's quartet Los Gutiarristas and becoming his duet partner before he passed away in 2011. In 2014 Neil recorded his first solo guitar album, The Panaermicanist in tribute to Alfonso Chacon.

In addition to playing with Janet, Neil performs solo guitar for all occasions. To learn more about Neil check out:

To check out our current working repertoire, please visit our Repertoire page.

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Preview Neil & Janet's EP 2017 DEMONSTRATIONS

More Neil & Janet recordings: