Nico Soffiato, guitar
Nick Videen, alto sax
Giacomo Merega, el. bass
Zach Manga, drums
Nico Soffiato, Italian guitarist, composer and educator, currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. After receiving his Master’s degree in philosophy with a thesis on the ontology of music, he moved to Boston. There he attended Berklee College of Music, thanks to a Best Entering Talent Students scholarship, and graduated magna cum laude. At Berklee he studied performance and composition with David Tronzo, Jon Damian, Hal Crook, Ed Tomassi and Jeff Galindo to mention a few. During his stay he was awarded a second scholarship: the Berklee Achievement Scholarship. Nico was also selected to be part of an all-guitar ensemble whose members included notable alumni like Bill Frisell, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mike Stern and Wolfgang Muthspiel.
He also attended seminars with Bill Frisell, Dave Holland, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Steve Coleman and others.
In New York, aside from being the front man of the Nico Soffiato Quartet, he leads the improvised music group Paradigm Refrain with which he’s been performing for about two years at a monthly residency in Brooklyn. The group has a diverse cast and guests have included: David Tronzo, Nate Wooley, Sunny Kim, Bruno Raberg, Danilo Gallo, Zeno de Rossi, Alessandro Fedrigo, Piero Bittolo Bon, Nick Falk, Petr Cancura, Giacomo Merega, Federico Casagrande, Brian Adler, Noah Kaplan, Devin Gray, Andrew Smiley, Joe Moffett and many others.
Nico co-leads a duo with trumpeter Josh Deutsch and they will be releasing a record in early 2011.
As a sideman and solo performer, Nico has performed extensively in the US and Italy.
"...Straddling the line between mainstream and experimental, The Nico Soffiato Quartet's Just Add Water is a refreshing contribution to contemporary jazz. With creative treatments and impressive attention to nuance, the ensemble crafts intriguing, enigmatic music that stands out from the otherwise oversaturated jazz scene and its tired sound..." "...Just Add Water is a solid, enchanting effort from musicians who thoroughly understand the concept of balance. A wealth of details under the surface allows for new discoveries and deeper appreciation with every listen..." John Engelmann, Knocks From The Underground
During live performances, Nico connects to other musicians with an electric tension, leaving audiences mesmerized. This is particularly strong during free improvisations with his amorphous musical collective Paradigm Refrain. Here, he seems to pluck sonic phrases from the ether, surprising himself and audiences alike. Drawing from a deep well of innovative resources including prepared guitar and unorthodox playing techniques, in these live shows, Nico’s entire body becomes his instrument. Facial and body contortions precede and respond to each phrase, his guitar only one factor in the entire gestalt. It is no coincidence that Nico holds an advanced degree in philosophy of language as well as music, for he brings to his music the same intellectual, technical, and logical rigor required of a contemporary philosopher. In so doing, he creates an inimitable musical language, and listeners will be lucky to follow his musical voice as it continues to develop. (T.S.)
The music of the Nico Soffiato Quartet travels through several musical trajectories that simultaneously comforts and challenges any listener. While its roots are strongly grounded in the jazz tradition, its routes move in the compositional direction of complex rhythmic and harmonic structures, creating a melodic soundscape that is intentionally in flux with every groove.