Nicholas Payton, Trumpet
Lady Fingaz, DJ
Burniss Travis, Bass
Jonathan Barber, Drums
Daniel Sadownick, Percussion
Join us for a pre-concert drink at the Parterre Bar in Zankel Hall before concerts that start at 9 PM or later.
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and trumpet master Nicholas Payton is one of the most important artists working and recording today. A virtuoso before he was out of high school, his talent and skills have earned him praise and accolades, and ensured his place in music history. Spanning a multitude of musical genres, Payton has composed and arranged, performed, and recorded with his own groups in many settings, including solo, duo, trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, 21-piece big band, as well as his 2012 full orchestral work Black American Symphony.
Payton is president of his own successful independent label, Paytone Records. His latest project is Afro-Caribbean Mixtape, where he seamlessly merges contemporary music, African rhythms, and the voices of historical figures with a performance and execution that is unmatched. Payton notes, “It is often said that New Orleans is the northernmost region of the Caribbean. Africa is the source of all rhythms. Afro-Caribbean Mixtape is a study of how those rhythms were dispersed by way of the Middle Passage throughout Cuba, Haiti, and Puerto Rico, then funneled through the mouthpiece of New Orleans to North America and the rest of the world.”
Payton was born into a musical family in New Orleans. He showed talent for music at a very early age. He received his first trumpet at age four and by age nine was sitting in with local bands, including the Young Tuxedo Brass Band. By the age of 12, he was a member of the All Star Brass Band, performing and touring extensively. As he developed and studied, Payton successfully learned how to play several instruments. In addition to being an accomplished trumpeter, he now plays piano, bass, drums, tuba, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, and others. During his high school years, Payton attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts to study with Clyde Kerr Jr. After graduation, he attended the University of New Orleans, where he studied with Harold Battiste and Ellis Marsalis, among others.
When he was barely in his 20s, Paytonmade his major-label recording debut on Verve Records as a band leader. Since then, he has recorded a multitude of albums, as well as performed worldwide with his own groups and as a special guest. At age 25, he won a Grammy Award for his collaboration with Doc Cheatham.
Payton has toured the world with Ray Brown and Elvin Jones, and lists significant collaborations with Trey Anastasio, Ray Charles, Daniel Lanois, Dr. John, Stanley Jordan, Roy Haynes, Joe Henderson, Zigaboo Modeliste, Marcus Roberts, Jill Scott, Clark Terry, Allen Toussaint, Chucho Valdés, Dr. Michael White, Nancy Wilson, and many more. He recently produced a brilliant tribute to Ella Fitzgerald for the gifted singer Jane Monheit. He is credited on more than 140 recordings as a composer, arranger, special guest, or sideman.