Tag Archives: Nicholas Payton

Nicholas Payton brings his trio to Scullers September 12

Nicholas Payton. Photo by Michael Wilson.

Nicholas Payton. Photo by Michael Wilson.

Last spring I talked to Nicholas Payton for New Orleans’ OffBeat magazine. He had stated his own record label, BMF, and released a live CD recorded at Washington DC’s storied Bohemian Caverns. Payton was as provocative as ever, talking about his notorious blog entry, “On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore,” which included the line, “Jazz died in 1959.” And the live album was provocative too — heavy grooves, with Lenny White on drums, Payton’s longtime bassist Vicente Archer, and Payton himself playing both trumpet and Fender Rhodes, sometimes simultaneously.

On September 24, Payton will release a live concert performance of his interpretation of the Miles Davis-Gil Evans collaboration Sketches of Spain, with Dennis Russell Davies conducting the Sinfonieorchester Basel. They’re joined by Archer on bass, Marcus Gilmore on drums, and Daniel Sadownick on percussion. And this Thursday, September 12, Payton brings his trio to Scullers in Boston for an 8 pm show.

“Music is inherently empty,” Payton told me in the OffBeat interview. “It takes a life lived to imbue a note or a set of chords or a rhythm with a feeling.” You can read the rest of the interview here. See you at Scullers!

Nicholas Payton: The Simple Truth

My profile of Nicholas Payton appears in the May 2013 Jazz Fest Bible issue of Offbeat, the New Orleans Music Magazine (my byline is in the magazine and will be posted on the site at some point):


photo by Golden Richard III

Nicholas Payton, now 39, has been a New Orleans trumpet star almost from the moment he first picked up the horn. The son of revered bassist, composer, and teacher Walter Payton, he was sitting in with local bands by the age of nine and touring at 12. At 20, he released From This Moment (Verve), the first of a string of major-label albums as a leader. There were plenty of side-gigs in between, including an early-’90s stint as a member of Elvin Jones’s band. Through it all, Payton has combined his reverence for the jazz tradition with a desire to forge ahead…[read more]