Hear & Now is the past and the present. The point of view of today with foundation in the roots of jazz and American music. Finzer’s music evokes a need and hope for change, a defiant optimism that pits love against the forces of oppression. The band is a sextet of highly inventive artists who come together to give voice to the themes and ideas of Finzer’s music. Lucas Pino on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, Alex Wintz on guitar, Glenn Zaleski on piano, Dave Baron on bass, and Jimmy Macbride on drums bring the power and wide ranging palette of a big band with the supple energy of a small ensemble. Influenced by the numerous bands of Duke Ellington, Chick Corea, John Coltrane, and Michael Brecker, Hear & Now is poised to share this generation's perspectives on jazz with the world today.
Nick Finzer’s Songs & Stories quartet is a trombone fronted jazz group that focuses on presenting reimagined versions of some of the most famous compositions in the jazz repertoire. These compositions have stood the test of time because of their strong melodic and harmonic structure, making them ideal for exploring new presentations with this group. The new versions of these compositions aim to combine Nick’s 21st century compositional sensibilities with well known melodies to create a fusion of musical tradition and explorations.
The quartet began as a tool to share Nick’s music and arrangements in a touring format. The group has explored music from Nick’s two solo releases (2013’s “Exposition” and 2015’s “The Chase”) along with reimagined versions of songs popular within the jazz canon. The trombone led quartet format has long been ignored in favor of saxophone quartets, but Nick seeks to re-popularize one of our music’s important and beautiful instrumental voices.
In the tradition of the great masters of this music, Nick incorporates stories about and related to these songs into each of the band’s performances. These include stories about specific compositions, stories about the composers, and personal anecdotes related to the performance. This has very successfully served to connect the artists with the audience and provoke a greater understanding and appreciation for the music.
The quartet has participated for the last three years in New York jazz club Jazz Standard’s “Jazz for Kids” Program. These lunchtime performances are for student groups from across NYC and beyond and connect young students (ranging from Kindergarten through Middle School) with real life jazz musicians in a club setting. Nick developed his presentation to explore a brief history of jazz featuring musical examples and explanations about several of the different musical time periods within jazz.
Nick Finzer and fellow Juilliard grad, pianist Chris Ziemba, team up to bring standards and originals to a new light. An interactive chamber jazz setting allows Finzer and Ziemba freedom to explore and create a sound much bigger than the two of them.