Nico Sarbanes is a jazz vocalist, trumpeter and composer from the great city of Baltimore. At 24, he has already emerged as one of the city's most talented young performers, combining a virtuosic technique on the trumpet with an impressive command of the vocal repertoire of the Great American Songbook. 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. Nico can be seen performing regularly in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area, and has already led performances with some of today's greatest jazz players, including Antonio Hart, Warren Wolf, Mark Gross, Winard Harper, and Tim Green.
Nico grew up listening to the sounds of Tony Bennett, 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. In Fall 2015, he led a successful series of performances at the Downbeat-recognized venue An Die Musik, where he shared the stage with Baltimore jazz titans Antonio Hart, Warren Wolf, Winard Harper, and Tim Green. An album featuring live recordings from those performances, "Nico Sarbanes: Live in Baltimore" was released in February 2017.
Nico is also passionate about music education. He recently completed his teaching certification coursework at Towson University, and looks forward to passing on his love of music to future generations.