"Tones for Joan's Bones"
Nicki’s passion for teaching piano reflects his joy for learning, performing and composing. Nicki developed an ear for songwriting after hearing the Beatles for the first time in sixth grade. When he discovered Miles Davis in high school, he began improvising and studying jazz. A classical piano student from an early age, Nicki went on to receive his BMus in piano performance on a full scholarship at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Nicki leads and composes for his own band, GADADU. The group has received critical accolades in numerous online publications and radio shows and were awarded an Avaloch residency in 2017. Nicki also accompanies for Pedro Ruiz at Marymount conservatory and works with the esteemed Merce Cunningham studio as an improvising pianist. He has recorded and played with renowned artists at New York’s most premier studios and venues, including Le Poisson Rouge, Jazz at Kitano, ShapeShifter Lab, the Knitting Factory and Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room. He also composes for film and is currently working on his first feature length film score.
As an educator, Nicki teaches his students to think critically, and to find their creative center by producing sound on the piano and studying its history. He seeks to expose his students to the piano's dynamic emotive potential while having a lot of fun in the process and, ultimately, learning to challenge themselves to achieve their musical goals.