Nick performs with Paul McCartney, Jon Batiste (Colbert Show), Zeb Bangash, Antonique Smith, Rob Morrow, John Lithgow, The Hot Sardines, grammy nominated producer/composer/Indian percussionist, Deep Singh (tabla player with Sting, Katy Perry, Robert Plant) and grammy nominated producer/trumpet player/composer, Frank London, Russell Hall (Bessie & The Rainbow Kids), Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, Gordon Au's Grand St Stompers, Marcus Miller, Moroccan vocalist/composer, Malika Zarra, Bill Charlap, Frank Vignola, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Jim Nolet (Jazz Passengers), Jennifer Jade Ledesna plus the late greats Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Sonny Dallas, Joe Ascione and many others. Nick also performs with Josh Holcomb (Lucky Chops), Andrew Nemr (tap dancer), Miles Griffith's New Ting, Terry Waldo, Dandy Wellington, New Orleans’ Aurora Nealand, Mona's Hot Four, Dr. David Pleasant, Jon Weber, John Colianni (Les Paul), Kim Clarke (Defunkt/Joe Henderson), Raphael McGregor, Anastasia Rene, Indian/pop singer, Meetu Chilana, & many others. Professor Nick R. (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dobro/resonator/slide, lap steel, tenor guitar, baritone resonator, bass, drums, composition) has been the adjunct professor at Essex College, Jazz clinician for the full 19 years length for the Jazz Project at Kupferberg Center (Queens College) and has been on the staff at Great Neck Music Conservatory, teaching artist for Midori & Friends and other schools. Nick has given lectures at Manhattanville College, at Aaron Copland School (Queens College) and at schools, nationally. Nick has played African music extensively with Malika Zarra, including her Ebony Road CD release with Harvey Wirht, Mamadou Ba, Brahim Frigane and other great world musicians. As a pupil of Pandit Samir Chatterjee, Nick continues to study Indian music, plays harmonium, box tanpura and oud. (soon sitar!) Nick has also played extensively with ELEW years before, when he was jazz pianist, Eric Lewis and trombonist, Clark Gayton as sideman in various bands, including the James Brown tribute band with the late great, Black Velvet (Charles Bradley) led by Victor Jones. Nick currently leads/MC's 3 bands: The Scooches (Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches), Hot Jazz Jumpers and NickR+11 Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches (with Betina Hershey) album, Get Us Out Of Fearland was #2 album, #2 artist, (#5 song with 6 of our songs in top 20) on April 2018 International Folk Music DJs Radio chart! Over the past two year, Banjo Nickaru Western Scooches has built a solid following in the Eastern U.S. with a half dozen tours while also playing such prestigious events such as NBC affiliate Kansas City TV, Falcon Ridge Fest, Kansas City Folk Fest (main stage), Folk Alliance International, NERFA, WFUV Sunday Supper, Jon Platt's On Your Radar, Blue Plate Special, WMOT Finally Friday, WNCW Studio B Sessions, WoodSongs, Isis Music Hall, the Mid-Winter Folk Fest at Club Passim and recent January 2019 APAP showcase in NYC. “Nick has worked with artists all over the jazz spectrum. His latest release brings a decidedly unorthodox approach.” DOWNBEAT ⋆⋆⋆⋆ "....the inimitable Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches" — John Platt (WFUV) “A heart as big as the sky…full of high energy and higher spirits.” -Elmore Magazine “A band that has to be seen to be believed.” — John Platt (WFUV) "They go back to basics with songs that bask in a genuine roots regimen and a sense of timeless tradition." Elmore Magazine "Americana music at its purest and most impressive." No Depression “Unfailingly high-spirited." LONDON TIMES "...Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches are ridiculously fun." Rambles. -Down Beat magazine 2006 Ro review plus [Jan/Feb 2016] Hot Jazz Jumpers' "The Very Next Thing" DVD/CD review -Jazz Insider magazine current issue [Dec 2015] 2.5 page interview -Just Jazz Guitar magazine interview [February 2015 issue] -Vanity Fair magazine (August 2013) interview "Summer of 2013, Nick R. performed at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's home. It was an honor to meet Paul McCartney and jam with him while he played toy harmonica. Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Iridium, Bluenote, Birdland, U.N., IAJE, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, NJPAC, Sweet Rhythm, Smalls, Zinc Bar, Smoke Jazz Club, internationally: Japan, Spain, Russia, Brasil, St. Kitts, Canada, France, Bermuda, Sweden, Israel -Toured/recorded and/or worked as sideman with Antonique Smith, Jon Batiste (from the Colbert show), Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Bill Charlap, Sonny Dallas, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Vince Giordano & The Night Hawks, Frank Vignola/Joe Ascione, Miles Griffith, David Pleasant, Jim Nolet (former violinist for the Jazz Passengers), Dandy Wellington, Jon Weber, Aurora Nealand (from New Orleans), Anastasia Rene, Mona's Hot Four, Gordon Au's Grand Street Stompers, Michael Arenella's Dreamland Orchestra, with Jesse Gelber, Raphael McGregor, Emily Asher's Garden Party, and many other groups. -Appears in Sam Mendes Film "Away We Go" -Movie Soundtrack: King George. -Guitar/banjo: "Jew Grows in Brooklyn," "Take Me Along," "The Big Apple Circus" + others. -Banjo/Guitar Chair: "New Girl In Town" (Irish Rep Theatre) -Author: Metallica Legendary Licks series,volume 1 & 2) -Editor GRP chords (both Cherry Lane Music/Hal Leonard). M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (partial scholarship) B.S. from S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, graduated magna cum laude. Dean's list all semesters -Published interview (book): A New Face of Jazz (Cicily Janus) -Playing guitar/banjo on first episode of new PBS cartoon "Peg and Cat" - Current adjunct professor at Essex College -Guest lecturing professor at Manhattanville College -Substitute adjunct professor at Queens College -Winning participant: I.A.J.E. with Miles Griffith's New Ting 2007. Performance and educational certificate granted. -Winning participant; part-scholarship award: 2004 International Jazz Workshop at BANFF Centre, Canada (dir, Dave Douglas) -Winning participant; full-scholarship award of the 2001 JAS academy in Aspen Colorado (dir, Christian McBride (Down Beat Dec. 2001) -Studying Bol (Indian rhythmic system) with tabla player, Pandit Samir Chatterjee 2006-2007; 2013-current -Studied with Pat Martino, Billy Bauer, Ben Monder, Tony Purrone, Pete Bernstein, Dr. Stephen Salerno, Dr. David Belser -Studying African Rhythms with drummer, Harvey Wirht *** Lesson Details *** With over 20 years teaching experience, Nick is patient with children & adults. He has a creative, unique pedagogy emphasizing hearing through singing, ear-training & natural, organic listening. Nick instills healthy absorption of music while students have fun learning their music, sight reading, internalizing with focus on rhythm and time. As a student, you will get to work on music that you, the student select as well as work on sight-reading, technique, ear-training. We will also work out of method books and use other sources of information. *** Studio Equipment *** Chairs, music stands, instrument stands, classical foot pedals, classical guitar pillows, guitar amps, guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, drum set. Students usually provide their own instruments but it's possible to borrow an instrument during the lesson at the studio on the first lesson. (free street parking right in front!) *** Specialties *** Nick's pedagogy emphasizes ear-training, singing, reading and truly hearing the music we are working on. Rather than rote teaching and guitar tablature, he instills natural listening, transcribing, sight-reading and proper technique. Lessons are always enjoyable as Nick observes each student's unique needs and listen's to their song preferences and musical goals. Students have the opportunity to learn pieces and genres they select and they are trained to figure out tunes by ear (ear-training) and transcribe. Nick teaches: -classical guitar and Brazilian guitar (nylon 6 string and nylon 7 string guitar) -acoustic steel string guitar, electric 6 string and electric 7 string guitar - jazz guitar + an eclectic mix of styles: blues, Brazilian music, Latin Jazz, Afro-Peruvian, Indian music, rock, heavy metal, funk, R & B, Motown, reggae + other genres. - tenor banjo (traditional jazz, jazz from New Orleans, Dixieland and world music) -5 string banjo (Earl Scruggs finger picking [bluegrass and country]) -tenor guitar -ukulele -mandolin -resonator slide/dobro. -lap steel -baritone resonator (slide)
Teaches all skill levels
Teaching since 1985
M.A. in performance
Teaches ages 5+
Has background check
Nick is a gifted musician and an outstanding teacher. I have played guitar for several years but I got stuck in a rut. I needed someone to inspire me and I am glad I approached Nick. Nick has tailored lessons to my needs and has helped me to improve my technique and theory in a fun way. I am inspired and I grab my guitar before my coffee in the morning, every morning.
Our daughter has studied with Nick for the past year and we've noticed how happy and upbeat or 10yo always is after his lessons. Even if she goes in in a bad mood, making music with him always cheers her up. Different musical backgrounds, different instruments, in a child led direction. Nick can work wonders. We're so grateful.
My 11 year old son started lessons with Nick 10 months ago. Its amazing how much he learned already and how interested he became in learning the instrument. All that is because of how Nick approaches his students. Nick asked him what his favorite music pieces are and started teaching him those. He is very approachable, organized and at the same time very flexible with scheduling classes. He also does not apply practicing pressure but rather his approach makes his students want to practice more outside of the class. I would recommend this teacher highly as he will surely keep you inspired and motivated.