Keith Nichols


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Keith Nichols
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Keith Nichols is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on Classic Jazz and Ragtime, specializing in all older jazz piano styles, including Scott Joplin, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller and Duke Ellington.

Born in 1945, Keith took his first music lessons at five, both on piano and accordion, becoming Great Britain Junior Champion on that instrument in 1960. After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music, he turned professional, and toured for seven years with the jazz-comedy band, "Levity Lancers" in which he played piano, trombone and tuba.

From the early seventies, he has given regular ragtime concerts at London's South Bank, both as a soloist and with small groups.

He first visited the U.S.A. in 1976, as a member of Richard Sudhalter's New Paul Whiteman Orchestra, appearing in Philadelphia and New York's Carnegie Hall.

Recording credits include three solo albums for EMI, plus a host of others for Decca, including one with Bing Crosby. Since the mid-80's, he has been featured on more that twenty albums for the American "Stomp Off" label, both as bandleader and sideman.

In 1977, he formed the Midnite Follies Orchestra with arranger Alan Cohen and has written many arrangements and transcriptions in the 20's and 30's style, notably for the New York Jazz Repertory Company, the Smithsonian Institute Masterworks series, and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra.

Currently, Keith is freelance, performing all over the United Kingdom, Europe and America. His current concert projects include tributes to Fats Waller, Bix Beiderbecke, plus an ambitious chronological show, "Jazz Classics Revisited."

In 1990, he was invited by musical director Bob Wilber to play the piano part of Hoagy Carmichael on the soundtrack of the feature film, "Bix" recorded in Rome.

Keith Nichols continues to perform and record prolifically, as well as lecturing on Jazz History at the Royal Academy and Trinity Colleges. He has recreated the music of Fletcher Henderson on CD, plus a volume of rare Duke Ellington and Fats Waller pieces, and performed the music of Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert with the Royal Academy Big Band.

Latest tours include France, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and Egypt.

March 2003: at the Trinity Colledge of Music, Keith directed a recreation of the 1924 Paul Whiteman "Experiment in Modern Music" concert, which included a performance of "Rhapsody in Blue" with the original instrumentation. This year also marks the formation of a new orchestra, the ten-piece BLUE DEVILS, performing jazz and hot dance music of the 20's, 30's and 40's.

May 2003

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