Warren Wolf Quartet featuring Nicholas Payton
Warren Wolf, vibes
Lawrence Fields, piano
Kris Funn, bass
Lee Pearson, drums
Special Guest Nicholas Payton, trumpet and vocals
Tickets: $25/$15 students
Nicholas Payton is the embodiment of every trumpet player who came before
him, and he leads the way for all who follow. Hailed as a virtuoso before he
was even out of high school, his maturation as a prodigious talent has
earned him praise as one of the most important artists of our time.
In 1994, Nicholas Payton made his recording debut as a leader with From This
Moment (Verve), where he was immediately recognized as a "young lion". Since
then, Payton has consistently committed himself to developing a distinct
voice beyond the strict labels that fans and critics alike have sought to
pin on him.
He says: "As a musician, as an artist, you're always trying to zero in on
the bull's eye as a means of becoming a better version of yourself. I've
been able to find the kind of music that's more inclusive of all of my life. The approach and the ideas of my music have become more singular, more cohesive. I have no agenda in terms of a specific genre or style, only to be true to who I am."
Nicholas Payton was born September 26, 1973, in New Orleans, Louisiana, into
a musical family. Encouraged by his mother, a pianist and vocalist, and his
father the legendary bassist, composer and educator Walter Payton, Nicholas
showed talent for music at a very early age. He received his first trumpet
at age four and by age nine was sitting-in with local bands including the
Young Tuxedo Brass Band. By the age of 12 he was a member of the All Star
Brass Band that performed and toured extensively. As he grew up and studied,
Nicholas successfully learned how to play several instruments including but
not limited to the trumpet. He is an accomplished pianist, bassist, drummer,
and plays tuba, trombone, clarinet and saxophone, et al. During his high
school years, Payton attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts to
study with Clyde Kerr Jr. and after graduation attended the University of
New Orleans where he studied with Ellis Marsalis.
Nicholas has toured with scores of musicians including Clark Terry, Marcus
Roberts, Ray Brown, Elvin Jones, and Roy Haynes and many more. He has also
performed and recorded with many musicians representing a multitude of
musical genres from jazz, R&B, and hip-hop and is credited on well over 120
recordings as a composer, arranger, special guest or sideman.
As a leader, Nicholas has recorded 8 albums under his own name including Doc
Cheatham and Nicholas Payton-a 1997 GRAMMY� award-winning collaboration with
the legendary trumpeter. He also released Dear Louis, Nick @ Night, Gumbo
Nouveau, Sonic Trance, Payton's Place, and Into The Blue.
Payton says in reference to both his music and his life that he has finally
arrived "most solidly in a place where I'm coming to terms with who I am.
I've weeded out those things that don't feel right for me. I'm not out to
try to impress and I'm not worried that what I play is going to upset some
people. I want to write and play music that speaks for me and means
something to me and that I feel passionate about."
To that end, Nicholas has recently completed his 9th recording as a leader-a
bold autobiographical solo masterwork entitled Bitches. Bitches is a love
story that musically chronicles the joys and heartbreak of relationship. A
provocative and breakthrough recording on many levels, Nicholas played every
instrument, composed all the songs, wrote all the lyrics, produced each
track, and sings and plays trumpet throughout. He is accompanied by special
guest vocalists Cassandra Wilson, Esperanza Spalding, N'Dambi, Chinah Blac,
and Saunders Sermons.
Payton explains of the album's concept: "The idea was to express how mature
men feel in a relationship when things don't work out. It's actually a very
vulnerable record. . . a love record essentially. The title might suggest
something else to people, but none of the lyrical content is derogatory."
In speaking about the 16 songs on Bitches, Nicholas continues by expressing
that : "To me, the whole point of life is to be in a relationship, with
one's self and with other people. Without that mirror of relationship, we
can't discover who we truly are. My mission is to constantly define and
redefine who I am and what I am . . . to try to be better and to live the
things I believe and say. That's not an easy road, but to me that's the only
way to live."
A release date for Bitches is undetermined as of this writing, however, the
recording has already garnered intense public interest as well as a
legendary underground buzz in spite of the record company's resistance to
marketing groundbreaking work.
If it sounds like Nicholas Payton is a genius musician, a gifted composer
and producer, a skilled astute writer and sometime social provocateur, and a
shrewd businessman, he is all that, and more. His craft and artistry defy
all restrictions leaving little that he cannot do and so it's clear that
Nicholas is rooted in more than just traditions.