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Nick Finzer

Assistant Professor of Jazz Trombone

NICK FINZER... is one of the most dynamic musicians of the millennial generation. An award-winning composer, arranger, producer, and trombonist, Finzer is bringing the joy and power of Jazz to both traditional fans and the most modern 21st century audiences. He’s on a mission to be a passionate voice defining the sound of Jazz in this age while also bringing street cred to the trombone with a bold, tight sound.

Listeners will enjoy the wide emotional range of Finzer’s brilliant original compositions and arrangements on his latest album, No Arrival (Posi-Tone 2018). His supporting musical cast for this album includes reed- man extraordinaire Lucas Pino, guitarist Alex Wintz, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Dave Baron and drummer Jimmy Macbride. The album finds Finzer taking things forward while simultaneously being drawing back to the music that got him to this point in time, with a mix of influences and a unified concept.

Born into the musical world (Mom Sherry Finzer is an international flutist), Finzer developed a fascination for the music of Duke Ellington and found himself, in high school, performing at the annual Essentially Ellington competition of Jazz at Lincoln Center. It was then that he decided to pursue a life in music himself. His budding talent was recognized by Wycliffe Gordon who began a mentorship by writing four pieces for the young Finzer while he attended the Eastman School of Music. Nick went on to get his masters at Juilliard’s prestigious Jazz program where he was mentored by trombone legend Steve Turre.

In 2011 Nick was the winner of the Eastern Trombone Workshop’s National Jazz Trombone Competition and was a finalist in the 2010 International Trombone Association’s Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition.

Two tracks appearing on Nick’s debut album “Exposition” (Outside in Music) garnered Finzer a pair of accolades: The prestigious American Society of Composers and Performers (ASCAP)’s Herb Alpert Award for young composers (2013 & 2015)

Two of Nick's album-length works, “The Chase” and “Hear & Now” were received with rave reviews, a feature article in Downbeat Magazine, and both peaked at #6 on the JazzWeek Charts. “Hear & Now” is a collection of compositions that serve as a vehicle to express the energy and emotions of the early 21st century human experience. The compositions on “Hear & Now” take the listener on a journey from the frenetic pace of everyday life, through self-reflection and mindfulness, and looking ahead to a bright future.

Famed trombonist and mentor Wycliffe Gordon called Finzer “a new voice [in] the pantheon of upcoming trombone greats in the making” and added “Nick's CD is a glowing example of things to come.”

When away from NYC, Finzer can be found touring the globe not only with his own projects, but as part of Anat Cohen’s Tentet, teaching workshops and masterclasses, and appearing with YouTube sensation Postmodern Jukebox. Finzer has joined the group on television, in viral videos with millions of views, and on tours across North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Finzer has performed at top jazz clubs, festivals and concert halls with Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Newport Jazz Festival with Anat Cohen, Lucas Pino’s No Net Nonet, Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project, Bob Stewart’s Double Quartet, Frank Wess, Terrell Stafford, Lewis Nash, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Walt Weiskopf, Slide Hampton, Frank Kimbrough, Carl Allen, Steve Turre and many more.

While not performing, Nick can be found on his YouTube channel sharing weekly videos on topics ranging from live performances, to new arrangements, and educational videos. Nick's media company and jazz record label Outside in Music is poised to take the jazz recording industry firmly into the next century. Releasing 15 albums in 2017, and looking to top that number in 2018. Outside in Music produces audio and video content for some of jazz's rising stars from around the globe; as well as connecting brands to the jazz artist's passionate fan-bases.

Nick also has a firm commitment to education and developing the next generation of musicians and music lovers. Finzer serves as the Artistic Director of the Institute for Creative Music; a non-profit dedicated to exploring jazz and creativity for musicians and audiences of all levels. From 2014-2016, Nick served as the Visiting Professor of Jazz Trombone at Florida State University. Nick published his first book in 2013 Get Ahead (A Practical Guide for the Developing Jazz Trombonist) and relaunched that book as an interactive online course in June of 2017.

Starting for applications submitted Fall of 2018, the following are the updated guidelines for submitting an application for the UNT Jazz Trombone Studio:

All Applicants for Undergraduate and Master's Jazz Trombone Degree Programs must prepare the following for the on-campus audition. Students who are unable to visit campus for the audition may submit an audition video. All Undergraduates and Masters Applicants should prepare:

·         One (1) Bordogni (Rochut) Etude; Unaccompanied from selected numbers 1-60.

·         One selection from the following bebop melodies, at a comfortable tempo for the applicant: Billie's Bounce, Ornithology, Anthropology, Bebop

·         One Medium or Medium-Up Swing tune from the American Songbook (i.e. composed by Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, etc. The original version of the tune should have lyrics.)

·         One jazz ballad performed at a ballad tempo (Quarter note = 60 or slower)

·         One tune with straight eighth-note feel. (i.e. Bossa Nova, Mambo, Jazz-latin, etc.)

•          A jazz transcription of your choice (at least 32 bars, not to exceed 64 bars, this can be an excerpt from a solo) by one of the following soloists: JJ Johnson, Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton, Frank Rosolino, or Carl Fontana. Students may perform this with our without written music, unaccompanied. Please bring copies for the audition panel.

Additional Requirements for Master's applicants:

·         Confirmation (Charlie Parker) instead of the Bebop melodies listed above.

·         Optional: one original composition

Each jazz selection should include the melody, at least 2 choruses of improvisation, and the melody out. The ballad should not exceed two choruses total.

For video auditions, there should be no other soloists on each recording. Recordings need not be of professional quality, but should clearly demonstrate the player's musical abilities. Play-along tracks are acceptable for the jazz improvisation portions, but live musicians are preferred. If neither are available, a metronome marking half-notes (sounding on beats 1 and 3 or 2 and 4) is acceptable.

Undergraduate applicants must play both a classical and a jazz audition. The requirements for the classical audition are published here on the College of Music website.

Master's applicants are not required to play a classical audition.

 

Candidates applying for a DMA in Performance, Jazz Studies major field on jazz trombone should prepare video recordings of the following for submission as the pre-screening video:

•          One (1) Bordogni (Rochut) Etude; Unaccompanied from selected numbers 1-60.

•          Confirmation, at a comfortable tempo for the applicant:

•          One Medium or Medium-Up Swing tune from the American Songbook (i.e. composed by Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, etc. The original version of the tune should have lyrics.)

•          One jazz ballad performed at a ballad tempo (Quarter note = 60 or slower)

•          One tune with straight eighth-note feel. (i.e. Bossa Nova, Mambo, Jazz-latin, etc.)

•          Optional: one original composition

 

Applicants for the DMA will be invited for an on-campus audition based on an evaluation of the pre-screening video.

For the on-campus audition audition, the applicant should provide a repertoire list of 10 selections covering a broad range of styles, tempos, and historical jazz periods (i.e. bebop, hard bop, modal, modern, etc). Applicants should bring sight-readable lead sheets for the rhythm section for any and all compositions. In addition, DMA applicants should bring at least one original composition, with lead sheets for the panel and rhythm section. The audition will also include an interview that will address your career plans, research interests, and preferred teaching assignment(s) and how you would approach them.