Raised in Berkeley, California, Nic. began his musical education with piano lessons at age 9. While still a student at Berkeley High School, Nic. was teaching and playing professionally. After high school Nic. accepted a scholarship to The Juilliard School, majoring in performance and composition. Between his studies and performing professionally in both jazz and classical settings, Nic. was also the recipient of the prestigious Lincoln Center Award.
Upon returning to California, Nic. began working as a studio musician, performing with a diverse range of artists including Santana, Gladys Knight, Pointer Sisters, Herbie Hancock, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., the Jacksons, Patti LaBelle, O’Jays, Tom Jones, Cher, and the San Francisco Symphony.
As a composer, Nic. has created scores for feature film, network television, and documentary films. His most recent film scores include “The Amateurs” starring Jeff Bridges, Ted Danson and Joe Pantoliano; “The Dukes” starring Chazz Palminteri, Robert Davi and Peter Bogdanovich; and “Remembering Phil” starring Nick Turturro.
Nic. has also composed works for the Kronos String Quartet, Turtle Island String Quartet, Metropol Orchestra, and a full-length classical ballet based on Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”.
As a producer and arranger, Nic. has worked with such artists as jazz singer Nancy Wilson, Bobby McFerrin, Les McCann, and Warner Bros. artists Reel Big Fish. In addition, Nic. recently completed arranging/producing “Davi Sings Sinatra”, which introduces the vocal stylings of well-known character actor, Robert Davi. This unique tribute to Frank Sinatra features Nic’s original arrangements of “Old Blue Eyes” classics brought to life by top LA studio musicians and full orchestra, under the direction of legendary producer Phil Ramone and recorded at the iconic Capitol Studios in Hollywood.
In between his film and television projects, Nic. has been collaborating with Grammy award winning producer Val Garay, writing and producing for a variety of recording artists and record labels. Their latest project is a country classics album with BMG artist Richie Furay. (Poco; Buffalo Springfield).
In addition, Nic. and co-producer Alan Abrahams completed the Les McCann “A Time Les Christmas” holiday album. www.lesmccannxmas.com
Nic., in collaboration with Patrick Woodland, has recently formed “Cool Tone Records” – writing/producing music in the style of the American Songbook. You can check out Cool Tone’s latest projects at www.cooltonerecords.com