Nick Syman Quartet: First Performance

Last January I realized that I had spent too much time theorizing about putting various groups together and no time actually following through with these plans.  So I started writing tunes for a small jazz group.  Since then I have finished 5 new tunes, repurposed a few older tunes, and put a group together to play them.  Tomorrow is our first performance.  I am excited and a bit anxious.

So for a brief moment in time, the newest band playing the newest music is:

Nick Syman Quartet

August 3/8:30pm/Jazz Central Studios

Featuring: Nick Syman – Trombone, Ted Godbout – Piano, Ted Olsen – Bass, Pete Johnson – Drums

Facebook Event Page

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Wise Blood

Wise Blood

I am playing with a stripped down version of AMO in an opera based on Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood. Check it out at

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When The Clouds Look Like This

The AMO album came out last fall and I am finally getting around to posting about it. Really proud of how it turned out. It got a lot of great reviews, but the coolest bit of press was definitely our inclusion on the Itunes Best Jazz of 2014 list.

Very grateful to Adam for giving me a chance to solo on the first track of the album. The tempo was really kicking my ass at first and he could have easily given it to anyone else in the band, but I think the final take turned out nice. So glad to be a part of the AMO family.

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Heading to the Studio with AMO!

Our Kickstarter has been fully funded and we are heading to the studio this weekend!  You still have 5 more days to pre-order the album.  So excited to be a part of this project.  Keep an eye out for updates.

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New Music for Trombone Quartet

I wrote this last week for Composer Quest’s Fortune Cookie Songwriting challenge.  Really happy with how it turned out.  I’ve been itching to write something for a group of trombones ever since I heard this Jacob Garchik album.  Recording this was also my maiden voyage on the bass trombone – awesome instrument, but I was definitely in over my head trying to get that bass line in tune.  Huge thanks to Charlie McCarron for recording and mixing the track!

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Twin Cities Jazz Festival

PrintThis week is the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.  A great lineup of music this year with tons of local talent represented.  I’m very excited to hear the headliner Kenny Werner play, who became one my my heroes in high school after getting one of his live albums and reading his book.  I’ll be playing with The Nexus Ensemble at the Minnesota Music Cafe, 9pm on Thursday; and the Adam Meckler Orchestra on the 6th st stage, Saturday at 5pm.

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Composer Quest Interview

My good friend and Cagetones collaborator, Charlie McCarron started a podcast in January called Composer Quest, where he interviews composers and songwriters.  He has put together some fantastic episodes so far that are worth checking out.  I am super excited to be featured in episode 16.  Among other things, we discuss my current composing project, a jazz ensemble piece about St. Anthony Falls.


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