Trombonist / composer / bandleader and educator Nick Finzer (b. May 22, 1988 in Rochester, NY) earned a Master of Music in Jazz from The Juilliard School, where he studied under the tutelage of Steve Turre, in May 2012. He has been active as both a leader and a sideman in big band, small group and world music ensemble settings since settling in New York City in 2010. Finzer has performed with Frank Wess, Joe Lovano, Wycliffe Gordon, Jon Faddis, John Mosca and Antonio Ciacca among others at venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Blue Note Jazz Club and the Iridium. Finzer also tours with his groups across the U.S., presenting master classes, improvisation workshops, television, radio, and live performances. In 2011 he won the Eastern Trombone Workshop Jazz Trombone competition that culminated in a performance with the U.S. Army Blues alongside Steve Wiest, Jim Pugh and Bill Reichenbach. In 2010 the trombonist was chosen as a finalist in the International Trombone Association’s Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition.
Finzer received a Bachelors Degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY in 2009. While at Eastman he performed with many of the musicians and bands that passed through the city including The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, John Clayton, Slide Hampton, Bill Dobbins and Walt Weiskopf. Also during that time Finzer developed a close relationship with trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and via the Commission Project worked with Gordon between 2005 and 2009 to premiere four original pieces (two for sextet and two for big band) that led to an opportunity to present workshops for Rochester area music students featuring himself and Mr. Gordon.
Finzer currently serves as co-artistic director of the Institute For Creative Music (IFCM), a not-for-profit organization he co-founded in 2011. IFCM is dedicated to teaching and disseminating jazz and other creative musics by hosting workshops, master classes and residencies that he conducts at universities, high schools, middle schools and with community groups around the world.