6:30 to 9:30pm
Bryan Nichols is a Minneapolis-based pianist and composer, working primarily in jazz and improvised music. He returned to the Twin Cities in 2005 after four busy years in Chicago where he played with jazz heavyweights like Nicole Mitchell, Ernest Dawkins, Von Freeman and Hamid Drake. Since returning to Minneapolis, he leads and composes for his own trio, his quintet and his large group, We Are Many. He also plays regularly with Gang Font, Kelly Rossum Quartet, James Buckley Trio, and Zacc Harris Quartet, in addition to being an in-demand freelancer. He teaches jazz piano at MacPhail Center for Music and University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and he was also recently named artistic director of Jazz is NOW!, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit supporting regional music and composers.
Bryan was awarded a 2010-11 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, a prestigious and competitive award given to Minnesota musicians. He was also awarded a 2004 residency by Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center, given to outstanding, emerging jazz performer/composers. His work as a composer earned him a subito grant from the American Composers Forum. He has performed at most music venues in the Twin Cities and Chicago, in addition to international festivals including Sons d’Hiver (Paris, France) and Kerava Jazz Festival (Kerava, Finland) as well as local and regional festivals including the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival. Bryan appears on recent recordings by James Buckley, Gang Font, Chris Morrissey, Gordon Johnson, Kelly Rossum, Todd Clouser, Gayngs and many more. In May 2011 Bryan released his debut recording as a leader, Bright Places, containing nine original compositions for his quintet.
One of Minnesota’s most exciting saxophonists. He returned to the twin cities in 2006 after six years in New York City and a six month stint in Shanghai, China. Wozniak studied music at Indiana University with David Baker and privately with Tom Walsh. Brandon performs regularly with Dave King’s(Bad Plus, Happy Apple drummer) Dave King Trucking Company with saxophonist Chris Speed, the Atlantis Quartet(City Pages Best Jazz Artist 2011, Star Tribune Best Jazz Artist 2012), the great drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt(Weather Report, McCoy Tyner), Bryan Nichols Quintet, Chris Bates Red 5, PBR Street Gang, Lars Larson’s Mancrush, Cory Healey’s Beautiful Happy Sunshine Band, Steve Kenny Quartet and DD7. Brandon has also performed with singer Nellie McKay, toured with the Tommy Dorsey Jazz Orchestra and shared the stage with organ great Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jonathan Kreisberg, Francisco Mela(Joe Lovano’s US Five), Steve Davis, David Berkman and Dennis Gonzalez.