Vibraphonist/Marimbist and Composer NICK MANCINI began his professional career as a drummer, at the age of 15. His undergrad studies earned him an A.S. from Schenectady County Community College and a B.M. (with honors) from The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. By the age of 23, he was a heavily called upon drummer in upstate NY but was feeling the tug of pursuing jazz more avidly. That was when he moved to NYC to attend Manhattan School of Music. His audition won him the prestigious President's Award scholarship and he graduated with a masters degree in jazz performance.
For the following 8 or so years, Mancini continued honing his craft while cutting his teeth at live gigs all around NYC, earning him a much deserved reputation as a trusted sideman and kick-ass band leader until a gig took him out west and he found his true home in LA. In 2006 he relocated and was immediately inducted into the, then burgeoning but now codified, LA creative music scene. Since his arrival, Mancini has truly made an indelible mark. He was celebrated as the Honoree at the 18th annual Los Angeles Jazz Vibes Summit and earlier that same year his face graced the cover of Ventana Monthly, the popular Ventura county arts magazine, which also featured him in a story about the beach community’s thriving arts scene. DRUM Magazine’s Reader’s Poll named him “Best Jazz Percussionist” (on vibes).
Nick has performed and recorded with such diverse luminaries as Arturo Sandoval, Peter Erskine, Poncho Sanchez, Kenny Werner, and Jennifer Holliday; and with the greatest young and emerging stars such as Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Fergusson, and Ben Wendel. As both a band leader and side man, Nick has appeared at some of New York’s most notable venues such as The World Famous Apollo Theater; Showtime at the Apollo, Birdland, and Joe’s Pub. In LA he performs at The Blue Whale, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Friday Night Jazz series, ACE Theater, Catalina Jazz Club, Vibrato, Zipper Hall, Vitello’s, Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center and virtually every jazz venue in Los Angeles. His festival appearances include Santa Barbara Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Nortelje Jazz Festival (Sweden), Alandia Jazz Festival (Scandinavia), Angel City Jazz Festival (LA), and Catalina Jazz Festival, to name a few. Abroad, he’s graced the stage in Tahiti, Australia, Scandinavia, and Canada.
Not only is Nick widely recognized by his peers and audiences as a dynamic, and important performer and composer, but is also known as a curator of high quality, creative music events and series. At LA’s West-side based WitZend Live, he led a monthly jazz series featuring prominent LA Jazz groups. In 2010 he conjured and engineered ‘Feed the Blue Whale’ an all day jazz festival designed to bring awareness to the Blue Whale, LA’s finest, creative listening space. For 5 seasons he conjured and engineered ‘elastic hour’ at Curve Line Space; a weekly live concert series featuring 150+ artists from around the globe. LA Weekly gave it high praise in their annual “Best of” issue.
A victim of some dysfunctional learning scenarios, Mancini has become passionate about education. In 2011 he was invited to join the faculty at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU Long Beach, and is a Jazz faculty member at CSU Northridge (CSUN). He serves a recurring faculty post for the Thelonious Monk Institute, a highly competitive post-graduate program for up and coming Jazz musicians, all the while, maintaining a busy, home-based teaching studio for one on one study of the art of Jazz.
He has arranged and overseen the production of multiple Jazz vocal records and boasts an ever growing catalog of independently released recordings under his own name.
Recognized by the industry, he holds endorsement contracts with Majestic vibes and Innovative Percussion mallets.