Payton, veteran trumpeter, composer, & keyboardist is from a musical family originally in New Orleans. Over some 20 years he has almost 20 releases, counting both as lead and as side man. Over time major collaborations have been with Ray Charles, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Smith, and Allen Toussaint. Nick appears to be a fair businessman as well: by example, forming a 21-piece band, having full orchestral compositions premiered, and forming his own record label.
Nicholas’ early style could be called traditional or straight ahead jazz. Here is a sample from 10+ years ago: Vitoria 2002.
In recent years he has played more interpretive work. In the last 5 years he has declared, “I play Black American Music (BAM).” (You can see a little more about his views on this in this recent article in JazzTimes.) Nick does a lot of composing so you get his personal views of BAM in listening to his scores. Payton has developed multi-instrumental playing, trumpet and electric keyboard, sometimes both at once. Try here I Hear A Rhapsody, Third Thursday, and Five. The chances are these will be like what he presents in his Winter Fest show. See also his latest releases, “Letters” and “Numbers.”
Nick is a (another) example of “decide for yourself.” Take him on his own terms, listen to some of his music, and *decide for yourself*!
The Nicholas Payton Trio Winter Fest show will be at the Jade Leaf Eatery & Lounge in downtown San Jose, Friday Mar 4 at 8 pm.