Nico Sarbanes is a jazz vocalist, trumpeter, and composer currently residing in Baltimore. Combining a virtuosic technique on the trumpet with an impressive command of the vocal repertoire of the Great American Songbook, he quickly emerged as one of the genre's most talented young performers. As a bandleader, Nico has led performances and recorded with some of today's greatest jazz players, including Antonio Hart, Cyrus Chestnut, Warren Wolf, Ben Wolfe, Winard Harper, Mark Gross, and Tim Green. As a composer, he draws on his jazz and classical influences, as well as the klezmer music of his Jewish heritage, to create exciting new works.
In 2018, Nico moved to New York City- a requisite pilgrimage for any young jazz musician- and his arrival was met with quick success. In addition to leading his own group at numerous venerable venues around the city, his collaboration with the JC Hopkins Biggish Band led to a long-running weekly engagement at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem, the same room that hosted some of jazz's most formidable pioneers in the 1940s. While he returned to Baltimore, he continues to perform in New York frequently.
Nico grew up listening to the sounds of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald, and began singing popular jazz standards in elementary school. He picked up the trumpet at age 10, but it wasn't until high school, upon hearing Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Morgan, and above all, Clifford Brown, that he seriously devoted himself to the study of jazz. Nico received his Bachelor of Music degree from the esteemed Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal. While at Schulich, he received numerous awards for performance, and for multiple years occupied the solo trumpet chair in the school's premier touring big band ensemble. Under the tutelage of venerable jazz composers such as Kevin Dean, Joe Sullivan, and Jean-Nicholas Trottier, Nico honed his own compositional talent, earning additional accolades. Quickly establishing himself as an artist to watch on the Montreal jazz scene, Nico led two successful performances at the Festival International de Montreal, including opening for Grammy Award-winning vocalist Dianne Reeves at the Theatre Maisonneuve.
Nico is a proud native of the city of Baltimore, and consistently seeks to bring attention to both the city's impressive jazz history and its current wealth of musical talent. Outside of performance, Nico is also passionate about education. He received his teaching certification in music education from Towson University in 2017, and since then has also worked as an environmental educator with Audubon chapters in New York City and Maryland. A lifelong birder and lover of nature, he is currently pursuing a J.D. in environmental law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law in Baltimore,