Born: April 14, 1972 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
In 1992, Nicolas Masson meets Cecil Taylor in New York and takes lessons from Frank Lowe and Makanda Ken McIntyre. Back home in Geneva, he enrolls in the Jazz program at the Conservatoire Populaire de Musique de Genève with Maurice Magnoni as a saxophone teacher.
In 2000, he graduates from the Conservatoire Populaire de Musique de Genève with a Jazz performance and teaching degree. As a student at the Conservatoire, he’s attending master classes from renowned musicians such as Lee Konitz, Dave Douglas and Misha Mengelberg.
In 1999, Nicolas Masson spends the summer in New York and studies with Chris Potter 1999. In 2000, Nicolas Masson moves to New York for one year. He studies on a regular basis with Rich Perry and plays with local musicians such as Ohad Talmor, Eivind Opsvik, Mark Ferber, Ted Poor...
Awake, released in 2002 on the Swiss label Altri Suoni, is Nicolas Masson’s first album recorded with his New York band featuring Russ Johnson (tp), Eivind Opsvik (b) and Mark Ferber (dms). The Quartet did its first European tour (Switzerland, Italy) in January 2003.
In 2003, Nicolas Masson received the « Bourse d’Aide à la Création pour Jeunes Artistes de la Ville de Genève » grant, which constituted the financial basis to a Switzerland tour and studio recording in 2004 with his Quartet (with Gerald Cleaver on drums). The second album, called Yellow (A Little Orange) was released in 2006 on the famous Fresh Sound/New Talent label. Second Italy tour in Spring 2004 with Ted Poor on drums.
In 2005 and 2006, the Quartet toured Italy again, taking part in an itinerant Swiss festival organized by Rome’s Swiss Cultural Centre, sharing the evening with Irène Schweizer, Lucas Niggli and Malcolm Braff. Concerts were held in some of Italy’s most prestigious venues and festivals such as the Casa dell’Jazz and Alexanderplatz Jazz Club in Rome, TAM, Ubi Jazz Festival and Crossroads Jazz Festival in Emilia Romagna.
In 2007, concert in New York with the Quartet. European duo tour with pianist from New York Kris Davis (Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany).
In 2009, Nicolas Masson releases Thirty Six Ghosts, his first album on Clean Feed Records.
Nicolas’ busy schedule allows him to play all over Europe with musicians such as: Kenny Wheeler, Josh Roseman, Otomo Yoshihide, Kris Davis, Thomas Morgan, Scott DuBois, Gerald Cleaver, Tom Arthurs, Samuel Blaser, Manuel Mengis, Susanne Abbuehl, Harald Haerter, etc.