Born: September 15, 1960 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Internationally acclaimed jazz recording artist, songwriter and educator, Nicolas Bearde , blends genres of jazz, soul and blues as he takes you on a musical journey. An original and current member of Bobby McFerrin's renowned vocal ensemble, Voicestra for over two decades, Nicolas has also carved out a remarkable solo career, and made a notable contribution to the music world with his soulful style of jazz, known as the Nicolas Bearde Jazz Experience.
A seasoned and highly respected showman on stage, Bearde's personality and sense of humor, manifest themselves in his expressive ballads and up-tempo tunes, with an engaging rapport that captures and draws the audience into his performance. His artistry transcends his vocal performances.
Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, now living in the San Francisco/Bay area, Nicolas has made the world his musical home.
Nicolas started Right Groove Records in 1997 in order to launch his solo projects, starting with Crossing the Line. The album was a superb showcase for Nicolas' songwriting skills as well as his masterful singing, and it landed in the Top 10 on British Soul charts, garnering glowing reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.
It would be a few more years before Bearde produced the follow-up, All About Love, with a more unabashedly romantic repertoire, which was added to, both smooth jazz radio formats nationally, and Beach Music play lists in the Carolinas. His original tune Summer Sunday hit #1 on the Beach Music charts for 8 weeks running in the summer of 2005.
Nicolas completed his third album, Live at Yoshi's - a Salute to Lou in October 2007 - an outgrowth of a Tribute to Lou Rawls live show that he had been presenting. It was recorded live at YOSHI'S, Oakland, California's famed jazz club and has been picked up by radio in the UK, Poland, Macedonia, Switzerland, South Africa and Russia. His live shows garner a wide audience who appreciate his musical vision and savor his exceptional skills.
Besides maintaining this busy sideline as an actor and voice-over artist, he continues to write music and perform concerts at clubs and Jazz festivals around the country. Bearde has compiled an impressive list of credits that includes film roles in True Crimes with Clint Eastwood, Final Analysis with Richard Gere and Kim Basinger, roles on the television series Nash Bridges and Monk, plus television and radio commercials for GMC, E-Loan and Traveler’s Insurance.
Drawing from his vast repertoire of jazz, blues, R&B and big band sounds, Bearde's solo releases have earned accolades and a large international fan base, from Tokyo to New York, and from Belarus, Croatia, and Germany to Russia where he recently took Moscow by storm when he performed at the Classics and Jazz music festival on the palace grounds of Catherine the Great.
Nicolas' unmistakable voice will soon be heard on his upcoming 4th album, which will showcase his timeless and diverse song stylings, and be supported by TV appearances and radio promotion.
With classic stylings and cool interpretations of jazz standards and blues - a sound that one reviewer described as smooth and buttery, Nicolas is the definitive jazz romantic. Wherever he performs, audiences are drawn in as he lands energetic vocals and stuns with masterful simplicity. He’ll steam you up with an original soulful song like Love Me, pull you into the nuanced emotion of Bill Wither’s Can We Pretend, or captivate you with a stirring rendition of Naima, a John Coltraine ballad. Combining his original music with songs from the Great American songbook and hit tunes by an eclectic group of writers such as Burt Bacharach, Rogers and Hart, Duke Ellington and Jon Lucien, Nicolas brings a tenderness and delicacy to classic ballads, like no other.
Nicolas Bearde has a powerful musical presence that touches each and every person in the audience. His singing makes you feel the emotions of the music...John Handy
Nicolas Bearde is an explosion waiting to detonate onto the musical world... George W Carroll - The Musician's Ombudsman
Like a good box of chocolates,All About Love is rife with exquisite selections... Lee Hildebrand - SF Chronicle
Bearde is the definitive jazz romantic...he brings a tenderness and delicacy to his songs that deftly avoids maudlin interpretations... Ron Saranich - Cosmic Debris
A breath of fresh air amidst a mass of polluted ozone-friendly black pop... Blues and Soul Magazine - London, UK
Sophisticated jazzy soul that sends the hardcore into a state of pronounced delirium... Dean Johnson - Soulvation Magazine, London, UK
Bearde teases the listener with his aural foreplay and romantic verse... Soukie West - The Journal, London, UK
Bearde has managed to put out one of the best soul-jazz albums of the year... Chris Wells - Echoes, London, UK
All About Love is packed with romantic ballads that are fresh and unpretentious... Cafe Jazzz - Toronto, Canada
Totally romantic, totally smooth, totally delightful...memorable melodies, engaging lyrics, and top-notch arrangements... Scott O'Brien - SmoothJazz.com
Nicolas Bearde has a voice like velvet and the composing skill to match... Sounds of Timeless Jazz
San Francisco, CA