.. is one of the most dynamic musicians of the millennial generation. An award-winning composer, arranger, producer, and trombonist, Finzer is bringing the joy and power of Jazz to both traditional fans and the most modern 21st century audiences. He’s on a mission to be a passionate voice defining the sound of Jazz in this age while also bringing street cred to the trombone with a bold, tight sound.
Listeners will enjoy the wide emotional range of Finzer’s brilliant original compositions and arrangements on his latest album, No Arrival (Posi-Tone 2018). His supporting musical cast for this album includes reed- man extraordinaire Lucas Pino, guitarist Alex Wintz, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Dave Baron and drummer Jimmy Macbride. The album finds Finzer taking things forward while simultaneously being drawing back to the music that got him to this point in time, with a mix of influences and a unified concept.
Born into the musical world (Mom Sherry Finzer is an international flutist), Finzer developed a fascination for the music of Duke Ellington and found himself, in high school, performing at the annual Essentially Ellington competition of Jazz at Lincoln Center. It was then that he decided to pursue a life in music himself. His budding talent was recognized by Wycliffe Gordon who began a mentorship by writing four pieces for the young Finzer while he attended the Eastman School of Music. Nick went on to get his masters at Juilliard’s prestigious Jazz program where he was mentored by trombone legend Steve Turre.
In 2011 Nick was the winner of the Eastern Trombone Workshop’s National Jazz Trombone Competition and was a finalist in the 2010 International Trombone Association’s Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition.
Two tracks appearing on Nick’s debut album “Exposition” (Outside in Music) garnered Finzer a pair of accolades: The prestigious American Society of Composers and Performers (ASCAP)’s Herb Alpert Award for young composers (2013 & 2015)
Two of Nick's album-length works, “The Chase” and “Hear & Now” were received with rave reviews, a feature article in Downbeat Magazine, and both peaked at #6 on the JazzWeek Charts. “Hear & Now” is a collection of compositions that serve as a vehicle to express the energy and emotions of the early 21st century human experience. The compositions on “Hear & Now” take the listener on a journey from the frenetic pace of everyday life, through self-reflection and mindfulness, and looking ahead to a bright future.
Famed trombonist and mentor Wycliffe Gordon called Finzer “a new voice [in] the pantheon of upcoming trombone greats in the making” and added “Nick's CD is a glowing example of things to come.”
When away from NYC, Finzer can be found touring the globe not only with his own projects, but as part of Anat Cohen’s Tentet, teaching workshops and masterclasses, and appearing with YouTube sensation Postmodern Jukebox. Finzer has joined the group on television, in viral videos with millions of views, and on tours across North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
Finzer has performed at top jazz clubs, festivals and concert halls with Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Newport Jazz Festival with Anat Cohen, Lucas Pino’s No Net Nonet, Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project, Bob Stewart’s Double Quartet, Frank Wess, Terrell Stafford, Lewis Nash, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Walt Weiskopf, Slide Hampton, Frank Kimbrough, Carl Allen, Steve Turre and many more.
While not performing, Nick can be found on his YouTube channel sharing weekly videos on topics ranging from live performances, to new arrangements, and educational videos. Nick's media company and jazz record label Outside in Music is poised to take the jazz recording industry firmly into the next century. Releasing 15 albums in 2017, and looking to top that number in 2018. Outside in Music produces audio and video content for some of jazz's rising stars from around the globe; as well as connecting brands to the jazz artist's passionate fan-bases.
Nick also has a firm commitment to education and developing the next generation of musicians and music lovers. Finzer serves as the Artistic Director of the Institute for Creative Music; a non-profit dedicated to exploring jazz and creativity for musicians and audiences of all levels. From 2014-2016, Nick served as the Visiting Professor of Jazz Trombone at Florida State University. Nick published his first book in 2013 Get Ahead (A Practical Guide for the Developing Jazz Trombonist) and relaunched that book as an interactive online course in June of 2017.
The winner of the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, pianist, composer, and arranger Christopher Ziemba is receiving widespread critical acclaim. After years of classical instruction in his hometown outside Buffalo, New York, Chris realized his love for jazz music in high school, taking weekly trips to Rochester to learn from pianist Paul Hofmann. Chris began studies under the tutelage of Harold Danko at the Eastman School of Music, from which he earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Jazz Studies and Music Education, as well as a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies. During his time here, he performed frequently with members of the faculty, including Bob Sneider, Clay Jenkins, Walt Weiskopf, Jeff Campbell and Rich Thompson. In 2009, Chris debuted as a guest artist on Marian McPartland’s famed radio broadcast, Piano Jazz. He also participated in two professional training workshops presented in conjunction with the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall: the 2008 Young Artists Workshop with Fred Hersch and the 2011 Advancing Jazz Improvisation Master Classes with Brad Mehldau.
Shortly after completing his degrees at Eastman, Chris relocated to New York City to begin studies in the two-year Artist Diploma program in Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School. Here, he was mentored by pianist Frank Kimbrough, and also worked extensively with other leading figures in the jazz scene, among them Carl Allen, Kenny Barron, Steve Wilson, and Rodney Jones. As a member of the Artist Diploma Ensemble, he participated in many performance and educational outreach tours, both nationally and internationally, allowing him to further hone his craft across the spectrum of playing and teaching. In September 2011, the Artist Diploma Ensemble recorded and performed with trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, in 2012 performed with Brazilian pianist Paolo Braga and drummer Edu Ribeiro, and in 2013 took second place in the Keep an Eye international jazz competition in Amsterdam.
Currently, Chris is involved in a number of projects in both the performing and teaching fields. Since 2012, he has served as accompanist for vocalist Kurt Elling’s New York City master classes and lessons. In 2013, he was featured on Jazz at Lincoln Center saxophonist Ted Nash’s release, Chakra, alongside many other leading musicians in the jazz scene. Early the following year, he performed with Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project at the 2014 Elmhurst Jazz Festival in Illinois. As a teaching artist with the New York Jazz Symposium, founded by drummer Carl Allen, Chris has been able to give back to students at jazz intensives in Melbourne, Australia and San Jose, CA. He is also a teaching artist with the Institute for Creative Music, an organization co-founded by former classmates and collaborators Nick Finzer and Chris Teal, which specializes in presenting clinics and residencies on jazz and improvised music across the US. He also holds a teaching position at York College of the City University of New York. Chris plans to head into the studio to record his debut album as a leader in 2015. In the meantime, he is continuing to perform, compose, and teach across the country, all the while finding constant inspiration in the music’s rich history and working to distill his experiences into a unique modern voice.