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.
Born in Minnesota in 1978 to Dr. Ralph McKinney (clinical Psychologist) and Barbara McKinney (Professional Clown), this award winning bassist, composer, and touring performer now makes his home in Brooklyn NY. An alumnus of the esteemed Berklee College of Music, Cody’s reputation as a top notch improvisor, creative composer, and master of genre jumping has spread far and wide from his midwestern beginnings. Starting his performing career in high school, Mr. McKinney’s playing has taken him on tour all over the US, and Europe. He has also logged an impressive number of recording credits ranging from jazz and avant garde, to americana, R&B, world music, and everything in between, gaining cohorts like The Tower of Power Horns and members of Prince’s New Power Generation along the way. He has won numerous local and national awards for his composition work in film, and advertising.