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.
John Raymond is making a name for himself as one of the most promising, genre-bending musicians in jazz today. With a singular voice as a trumpeter, flugelhornist and composer, Raymond is “steering jazz in the right direction” (Downbeat Magazine) by pushing it's boundaries, seamlessly incorporating indie-rock, folk and electronic influences into his music. As Something Else reviews stated, “This is jazz, yes, but jazz with an open mind’.
Raymond has released six albums as a leader since 2012 - four with his band Real Feels - each having received praise from Stereogum, the New York Times, Downbeat, JazzTimes and more. He is also a part of the Captain Black Big Band, led by pianist Orrin Evans, of which he played, composed and arranged on the group’s 2019 Grammy-nominated album “Presence.” In addition, John has also established himself as a sought-after educator, both as the Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Indiana University and as a guest clinician and soloist at schools around the world.
Ryan Berg was born into a musical family. His parents were musicians. His grandparents were musicians. He has made himself a staple on the New York jazz scene being mentioned in numerous blogs where fans have claimed to have “loved the bass player in that band”. He has also been interviewed for Smalls live and other music publications and has played with a virtual who’s who of the jazz world touring throughout the globe. Some of the musicians Ryan has played or recorded with include: Gregory Porter, Ravi Coltrane, Mark Whitfield, JD Allen, Jeff Coffin, Lenny White, Rashid Ali, Gerald Clayton, Joe Sanders, Logan Richardson, Mavis Poole, Roy Hargrove, and many others… In addition to this, he has played on many albums, been a band member for a television show produced by Kelsey Grammer, and is currently on the famed national tour of “Jersey Boys” where he also presents his bass skills while also showing his talents performing dance choreography and singing.