10 at the door
Two trios, featuring pianist Bryan Nichols, a rare concert on an acoustic piano on the Icehouse stage! This evening will include The James Buckley Trio, with Bryan Nichols on piano, James Buckley on bass, and JT Bates on drums. Also performing will be a trio featuring Bryan Nichols and the Bates brothers, JT and Chris.
Bryan Nichols is a pianist, composer, and educator based in Minneapolis. Often found playing jazz and improvised music, but at home in a variety of musical worlds, he leads and composes for his own trio, quintet, and nonet in addition to performing, recording, and touring with forward-thinking artists like Nicole Mitchell, Ron Miles, and Olga Bell, and groups like the Gang Font, Dead Man Winter, and Halloween, Alaska. He has taught jazz piano at MacPhail Center for Music, University of Minnesota – Morris, and University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, while presenting clinics and masterclasses at a variety of colleges and high schools around the midwest.
Bryan was awarded a 2010-11 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, a prestigious and competitive award given to Minnesota musicians. His work also earned him a 2004 residency from Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center, given to outstanding, emerging jazz performer/composers, and a 2009 subito grant from the American Composers Forum. In May 2011 Bryan released his debut recording as a leader, Bright Places, containing nine original compositions for his quintet. The Star Tribune called the album “fresh and first-rate” and it landed on multiple best-of-year lists. In September 2011, he had the honor of performing as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra for the world premiere of a Stephen Paulus' concerto for jazz quintet and orchestra.
Bryan has performed at most music venues in the Twin Cities and Chicago (where he lived from 2001-2005,) in addition to international festivals including Sons d’Hiver (Paris, France) and Kerava Jazz Festival (Kerava, Finland) and local and regional festivals including the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival. He's been a regular performer on series like SPCO's Liquid Music, and Orchestra Hall's Atrium Jazz Series. Bryan appears on recent recordings by Zacc Harris, MANCRUSH, Molly Dean, Dead Man Winter, Gang Font, Kelly Rossum, and many more. His most recent album, a solo piano endeavor entitled Looking North, was released in May 2016 on Shifting Paradigm Records.
“Meet James Buckley, the hardest-working musician in the Twin Cities” -Erin Roof, Citypages. James performed with Har Mar Superstar for an extensive world tour, highlighted by a live television performance on "Le Petit Journal" in Paris, France. James performed upright and electric bass on Bon Iver's album, 22, A Million, nominated for Best Alternative Album in the 2017 Grammy's. Most recently James performed bass on the new P.O.S album "Chill, Dummy".James performed live with Lizzo on The Late Show with Steven Colbert, December 2016. James has toured internationally with the indie-folk group, The Pines, and appears on their Red House Records releases "Tremolo", "Dark So Gold", "Pasture: Folk Songs", and "Above The Prairie". James recorded bass with Minneapolis super-group, "Gayngs" on their "The Last Prom on Earth" album, and played their performance at First Avenue, along with Coachella Music Festival April 2011. James co-founded and was bassist for Minneapolis' circuit-bending noisy pop-funk trio Mystery Palace, fronted and produced by Ryan Olcott of 12 Rods fame. James appears live and on recordings with Emmy Award-Winning, Universal Records Artists, The Blenders.
Fat Kid Wednesday, Deadman Winter, The Pines, and Alpha Consumer. JT Bates is steeped in the diverse and rich music scene in Minneapolis, MN. Growing up playing in his father’s big band alongside his two brothers was the spark that kept him hungry for more music. Along with being very active and sought after in Minneapolis, music has also taken jt to many parts of the globe. 2010/2011 highlights include: Fat Kid Wednesdays tour in France, gigs and recording with Andrew Bird, recording and a great SXSW showcase with Alpha Consumer, an improvised duet tour with french cellist Didier Petit, gigs and recording with The Pines, the release of the 2nd Face Candy record(featuring Eyedea), recording and gigs with the Bryan Nichols Quintet, along with countless gigs in the Twin Cities and around the country.
Recently, JT did some touring with electronic artist Matthew Dear(starting fall of 2011), concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra with the Greg Paulus Quintet, and a piano trio recording with renown english pianist Tony Hymas and bass playin’ brother Chris Bates.
if you’re ever coming through Minneapolis, look him up or at very least get out and check out the vibrant scene that he is so proud to be a part of.
Chris Bates is a bassist of formidable talent. Having worked professionally for 25 years across all spectrums of the musical landscape he continues to be a driving force in the Minnesota music scene. Raised in a musical household Chris learned early on that variety and diversity were the key to being a working musician and he set his sights on the stars by the time he was a teenager. Bolstered by a classical foundation from MN Orchestra bassist James Clute, Chris gained traction as an improvisor at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where he played in the award winning Jazz Ensemble Iand was able to work with Red Rodney, Donald Harrison, Matt Harris, Ed Soph, Jiggs Whigham and Ira Sullivan in brief but intense concert experiences.
Immediately after the college experience Chris moved back to Minneapolis and dove headfirst into lessons with the world renowned bassist Anthony Cox who encouraged him to begin writing and performing his original music in the group Motion Poets. 3 albums and many van rides later Chris was awarded with a McKnight Composer’s Fellowship for his writing in this award winning ensemble.
At the turn of the century life entered a new phase when a day job, marriage and a son arrived. For several years Chris continued to work in a limited capacity with the focus on family. After being laid off in 2006 Chris has fully reemerged as a bassist and composer and now spends most of his time practicing and composing for the various ensembles he plays in.
In 2012 Chris released his debut album ‘New Hope’ with his quintet Red 5. An all original affair ‘New Hope’ is full of crack shot playing and smart writing that showcases a clean and minimal sound. It was the only jazz album to make the Star Tribune’s Critic’s Tally of top albums in 2012. 2014 saw the release of a new album by ‘The Good Vibes Trio’ and showcases Chris’ love of more standard jazz repertoire with gems from Charles Mingus, Freddie Hubbard and John Coltrane mixed with some original tunes from each band member.
Compositionally Chris recently completed and premiered a full big band version of his quirky ‘Friar Monk’ and also wrote a chamber piece ‘Relay Transmission’ for the new music ensemble Zeitgeist that was debuted in the summer of 2014. Highlights from 2015 include a collaborative soundtrack to ‘Morning Follows Night’ a live radio drama in the noir style composed by Chris Bates, Steven Hobert and Soloman Parham for KBEM FM in April and Atlantis Quartet winning one of four McKnight Performer’s Fellowships for 2015-16.
In the spring of 2016 Chris and his band Red5 conducted clinics and performed with the Eden Prairie High School Jazz Ensembles where he was able to debut 3 new big band pieces. Beginning in the fall 2016 Chris will be an official ‘visiting artist’ at the University of MN Morris along with Bryan Nichols and JT Bates. This position was created to help foster recruitment and interest in the long standing jazz program thru a collaboration with Jazz Studies director Jonathan Campbell.
Recording wise 2016 and will be filled with the recording and potential release of albums from Atlantis Quartet, the collective piano trio Bates | Nichols | Bates, Red Planet with Bill Carrothers and an offering from Chris’ new trio ‘Inventions and Dimensions’. In addition to those keep your ears peeled for fresh sounds from Framework, Enormous and a new expanded iteration of Red 5.