Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Trombonist, trumpeter and vocalist Nick Vayenas is a forward-thinking musician who incorporates different styles of music into the jazz idiom. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Vayenas started his music studies with trombone and piano at age 12. He has since become an accomplished trumpeter and vocalist.

Since 2003, Nick Vayenas has been a long-standing touring band member for Grammy® Award-winning recording artist Michael Bublé. Vayenas has performed on several Bublé recordings, including Crazy Love and the Grammy® Award- winning Michael Bublé Meets Madison Square Garden.

In 2009, Vayenas became a leader in his own right, releasing his critically acclaimed debut album, Synesthesia, on drummer Kendrick Scott’s World Culture Music label.  "A well conceived album and more than casually ambitious", wrote Nate Chinen of the New York Times.  In 2012, he returned with his sophomore release, Nick Vayenas, on Whirlwind Recordings. The recording displayed his astonishing breadth of skills on vocals, trumpet and trombone, as well as his unique composing and arranging style.  "One of the most impressive of Whirlwind issues, showcasing a multi-talented individual likely to appeal to a wide constituency of jazz fans, 4 stars", said Jazz Journal.

Vayenas earned scholarships to attend Berklee College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute, which were key to his technical development as a musician and composer. His musical influences range from Louis Armstong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, J.J. Johnson, Frank Rosolino, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and Chet Baker to Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Donny Hathaway, Paul Simon, Joao Gilberto, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Beethoven and Debussy. Along the way, Vayenas studied with such jazz luminaries as trombonists Hal Crook, Conrad Herwig, Bill Watrous, David Taylor and Steve Turre, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and pianist Herbie Hancock.

His new 2013 release, Some Other Time takes the concept used on his previous album and expands upon it.  Some Other Time is a balance of instrumental and vocal, originals and covers.  The recording features guitarist Doug Wamble, pianist Dan Kaufman, alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius, bassists Michael Janisch and Peter Slavov, and drummers Rudy Royston and Joe Saylor.
A quintessential sideman as well as a leader, Nick Vayenas has appeared on many albums, including works by Patrick Cornelius and Dayna Stephens. He has worked with prominent artists such as Josh Groban, Bryan Adams, David Foster, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Scott, Aaron Parks, Dayna Stephens, Lionel Loueke, Vicente Archer, Patrick Cornelius, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard and Gretchen Parlato. Television performances include the Tonight Show, Late Show with David Letterman, Today Show, Oprah, Ellen and Saturday Night Live. He has performed at the Umbria Jazz, Montreal Jazz, and St. Lucia Jazz Festivals, and at venues such as Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Blue Note Jazz Club and Ronnie Scott's.

The album setlist features a number of classic blues, spanning obscurities to staples such as "Hoochie Coochie Man," here marked by Haynes' lead vocals and snarling slide work. Furthermore, Play All Night sees the Brothers unplug for a three-song acoustic interlude encompassing bare-boned renditions of Betts' "Seven Turns" and Allman's "Midnight Rider," as well as a buoyant take on the Robert Johnson standard, "Come On In My Kitchen."

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