Mboya Nicholson

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  • Mboya Nicholson

    This show was on Oct 3rd, 2013 | 3 people watched
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Bio

As a musician who believes wholeheartedly that art that touches people has no expiration date, pianist Mboya Nicholson had a love for jazz music from a very early age. While learning classical piano, Mboya was exposed to jazz music through his parents’ records and excursions to see jazz greats when they came to his hometown of Edmonton Alberta, Canada. After high school, his fascination with... more

As a musician who believes wholeheartedly that art that touches people has no expiration date, pianist Mboya Nicholson had a love for jazz music from a very early age. While learning classical piano, Mboya was exposed to jazz music through his parents’ records and excursions to see jazz greats when they came to his hometown of Edmonton Alberta, Canada. After high school, his fascination with jazz led to studies with respected jazz pianist and educator, Charlie Austin. Soon, Mboya was performing around Edmonton and was asked by the Winspear Centre for Music, to perform a jazz workshop for young people during their grand opening festivities.

Then, in 1999, Mboya moved to New Orleans and studied with jazz legend Ellis Marsalis at the University of New Orleans (UNO). While there, Mboya learned from great figures that are directly responsible for New Orleans music and its influence on western popular culture. He was fortunate enough to study with veteran musician and producer Harold Battiste, who created AFO records 1961. (Without AFO Records, much of New Orleans’ post war sound would not be documented). While at UNO Mboya got a chance to accompany great figures in jazz: from saxophonists Wess Anderson and Sonny Fortune to drummers Herlin Riley and Jason Marsalis. His love for the piano has taken Mboya to Tokyo, where he performed for three months with a vocalist and bassist; to Italy when UNO’s jazz band directed by Ellis Marsalis, performed for the Office of the Ambassador to the Vatican and to Guadeloupe, where he performed at a jazz festival in Point-A-Pitre, with the Jeff Albert Quintet. Most recently Mboya has interviewed and played with Jason Marsalis for a music program online; put together by Toronto Jazz Buzz, created by visual artist, Keita Hopkinson. Currently, Mboya resides in Toronto, composing and teaching.

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