Nat Nichols was born in 1939 in Vác, Hungary. His father was a book-keeper and a wine-maker, his mother was a pianist-teacher of sound and traditional musical background. Alternately Nat was trained in classical music by his grandfather Istvan Kövi conductor-composer-pianist of Franz Liszt Conservatory of Budapest. In addition to an aptitude for his keyboard studies young Nat soon demonstrated an ability to pick out jazz melodies of his own and make up his own tunes, thus his love for jazz led him down an other path from classical music.
He started playing professionally with his own combo at the age of 14. In 1956 at the age of 17 he left Hungary and went to the United States of America and settled in the Cleveland area, where he soon found work playing in restaurants and clubs.
Nat’s career got a head start at the Copa Cabana in the Hawaiian Island where he had a chance to back up America’s famous vocalist and to play with known jazz artists with his jazz trio.
In Honolulu, Hawaii he got married and started a family, which eventually grew to seven children.
In his first two record albums ’WIND FROM THE DANUBE’ (1965) and ’SPRINGPLAY’ (1966) Nat showed his ability to play jazz he loved and introduce several of his own composition.
With time Nat grew in composition and in play. Many cassette recordings featured his work with different vocalist and jazz musicians joining him both in recordings and on stage.
In 1999 he went back to his homeland to Hungary to pursue his musical career in concerts and do more composing.The following year he came out with his first European CD album ’NATURALLY’. This author edition featured 13 of his new songs, which was followed by the ’MINOR TRAFFIC’ CD with 17 more original tunes. Many of those tunes are printed in a music booklet to be introduced to the jazz musicians and jazz lovers all over.
According to Nat, jazz is essentially a very personal kind of music and each musician must find the tempos and style that ’works’ for him, or for her. Nat’s conviction that improvisation of jazz is as valid for him as the improvisation of the classical composers was in the past.
Today, Nat Nichols as a performer and as a creative musician stands in the forefront of blending the Afro- and the classical American jazz-sounds in his play and in his compositions. A schooled musician who has deliberately selected jazz as the medium for expressing himself in his creativity and talent.
The Very Best of Nat Nichols Trio – Casette
Wind from the Danube (1965-66) – CD
Cheek to Cheek (1997) – CD with Lynn Lawson
The Blues CD (1998) – CD with Kathy Hogan
Naturally (2000) – CD
Minor Traffic (2001) – CD
Codex (2002) – CD
Blue Horison (2003) – CD with Lynn Lawson & Kathy Hogan
24 songs and a CD with Panni Kovács (Hungary)
Jazz Fake Book – Music Book of Nichols’ original songs