Primary Instrument: Trombone
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.
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.
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, and trumpeter Terence Blanchard.
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, 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.
Nick Vayenas is a Conn-Selmer Artist
“This album is well conceived and more than casually ambitious.” – Nate Chinen, The New York Times
This is one of the most impressive of recent Whirlwind issues, showcasing a multi-talented individual likely to appeal to a wide constituency of jazz fans, 4 stars. - Jazz Journal
Mr. Vayenas is a man of many talents – he plays tasty trumpet, fulsome trombone and he sings too...this is a very well played album...Stardust is effective – the highish vocal is suave and smooth against a more urgent Lionel Loueke and percussion rhythm. Add some nicely accented phrasing and a richly melodic trombone solo and the standard tune meets Vayenas’s contemporary attitudes in accord...the band is classy. - Jazz Breakfast
His brass work and arrangements are stellar, this fine band is right in step with him and he's beginning to discover the power of connecting with an audience through not only the strength of his playing but also with the words he sings. - Step Tempest
“Vayenas and company's endeavors will surely give adventurous music fans something to look forward to. - Greg Camphire, All About Jazz
“I continue to wait and watch what he will do next.” – Terence Blanchard
I predict we will hear more of this young man on any one, or all four of his talents - Bebop Spoken Here
Vayenas has got a great, identifiable sound that is all his own - The Entertainment Bank
“Vayenas is anything but another jazz musician; he’s a musician that’s willing to cross bridges into new musical territory, and doesn’t hold anything back.” – Kevin Eagan, BlogCritics Magazine
“One is easily seduced into this music. He is developing his own voice and the future looks extremely promising” – Richard Kamins, The Hartford Courant “A valiant opening salvo for a new musician on the scene whose star should rise quickly.” – Michael G.Nastos, All Music Guide
There's a definite reverence to fifties Chet Baker vocals and trumpet playing on 'Nick Vayenas.' Added is Nick's trombone versatility, as well, making this CD special. - The Voice 88.7 FM - Sacramento, CA
Vivid music mixed with great trumpet, trombone and vocal skills...'Nick Vayenas' is a pleasure to listen to, with great variation throughout its eight tracks - Jazz & Blues Tour, ASFM 105.4, The Netherlands