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New-Orleans-born Payton has followed his calling since growing up under the tutelage of his parents - acclaimed bassist Walter Payton and pianist and vocalist Maria Payton.  Already a prodigy before entering the first grade, Nicholas began playing trumpet at the age of four and started performing professionally at age 10.  Nicholas released his first album, From This Moment, in 1995 on the famous Verve label.  In 1997 his performance on Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton earned him both a Grammy-Award Nomination and the Grammy win itself.  

Nicholas has released over 20 recordings as a leader, pushing musical boundaries and showcasing a variety of contemporary and traditional styles, while also displaying his ambidextrous ability to play both the trumpet and the keyboard at the same time whenever inspiration strikes. 

Nicholas has collaborated with numerous mentors and contemporaries alike, ranging from Common and Cassandra Wilson to Trey Anastasio, MonoNeon, Jill Scott, Dr. John, Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste of The Meters, Allen Toussaint, and Abbey Lincoln, among others.  His most recent albums are 2020's Quarantined with Nick and Maestro Rhythm King, and 2021's Smoke Sessions.

Tags: Black American Music, Exploratory, Vocal, Instrumental


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