(photo John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk)
Coming from a musical family, Nick has always been surrounded by music, and has been busy practising, gigging, composing and improvising from a very young age…
Growing up, Nick was involved with the family band (3D), the school’s big band (Netherstowe Big Band), the local music centre jazz orchestra (Lichfield & Rugeley Jazz Orchestra), and at 13, started running his own bands. Firstly, the rock band Miniature Rebellion, followed by ZedExWhy, and then his first jazz group, Funktional. Shortly before leaving school, Nick became a member of the Walsall Jazz Orchestra too, a band which he continues to play and write music for!
Upon leaving school, Nick was awarded an entrance scholorship to the Birmingham Conservatoire where he studied Jazz Trumpet. Nick studied with some of the finest jazz musicians and teachers at the Conservatoire, his main trumpet teachers being Percy Pursglove and Richard Iles. During his time at the Conservatoire, Nick also did an Erasmus trip to Weimar, Germany, where he studied with Prof. Bernard Mergner.
Throughout these years, Nick also became great friends with a Dutch jazz student, and now professional freelance musician and composer, Joris Bolhaar. Joris, who studied briefly at Birmingham also as part of the Erasmus scheme, now meets up regularly with Nick and together they have formed the band ‘Tritone Quintet’ – a band which features musicians from the UK, Netherlands and Germany.
As a student, Nick also became a member of the Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra, spending time both as one of the jazz soloists, and then becoming lead trumpet. In 2012, Nick also became a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and recorded with the band on the album ‘Changes’, as well as performing live with NYJO at the BBC Proms. Nick composed Big band music for both MYJO and NYJO, and NYJO recorded one of Nick’s arrangements ‘Rush Hour’ on their latest CD (NYJO 50). The track features a solo from special guest, Gareth Lockrane.
Whilst studying and since graduating, Nick has made several trips to meet some of his favourite trumpeters, and has been to Paris to meet and have a lesson with his hero Nicolas Folmer, he has been to Köln to meet and play with WDR Big band lead trumpeter Andy Haderer, he has also met and played with Dutch jazz trumpeter Angelo Verploegen, as well as having a lessons from British jazz trumpeters Steve Fishwick and Mike Lovatt.
In 2013, Nick graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire as an award winning, first class honours graduate of the jazz course.
Since then, Nick has gone on to life as a professional musician, and now maintains a busy portfolio of work, as a teacher, performer, composer, arranger and promoter.
During the week he works regularly in Walsall for the music service ‘Forest Arts’, where he teaches children of all ages and abilities Trumpet, Baritone, Trombone, Guitar and Bass Guitar. Nick is also involved in leading school ensembles, including pop bands, big bands, and wind bands. Nick writes a lot of his own teaching resources, and has composed music for his school bands, for the wider opportunities scheme, and for small group tuition too.
In 2014, Nick set up the community big band ‘Blast Off’ in partnership with the arts organisation ‘Lichfield Arts’. The band performs regularly within the area, and has now got over 30 members!
Nick is also involved heavily in promoting Jazz within the Lichfield District, and runs a monthly Jazz evening at the George IV. See the page ‘Jazz at the George IV’ for more details. In addition to this, he also runs the concerts at the George Hotel, and is also part of the team that helps to organise the annual Blues & Jazz Festival in Lichfield.
In 2015, Nick set up his own band, the Nick Dewhurst Band, and in 2016, the band recorded it’s debut CD ‘Suspect in You’. Please see the page ‘Nick Dewhurst Band’ for more info!
Much in demand as a trumpeter too, Nick continues to perform regular with all sorts of different bands, playing up and down the country, and internationally too.
Frequently Asked Questions
So, how many instruments do you play? Trumpet is my main instrument, but I also regularly play and teach Bass Guitar and Guitar. I did my Grade 8 on Piano…but these days it’s best kept to the practice room only, and I also continue to play the drums within the folk genre (with the family band 3D, and with a duo with accordionist Vic Smith).
Which band do you play with? My answer is usually “It’s a different band every week!” And it’s true. I do lead my own band, the Nick Dewhurst Band, but this band is best suited for specific jazz gigs. As well as my own band, I play in numerous other groups, function bands (dance/party music), background jazz groups, Big bands, ceilidh bands, etc etc etc…I’ve had the pleasure to play with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, with Jeff Hooper and his Big Band, I’ve played with MYJO at Carfest, I’ve played with NYJO at Ronnie Scotts in London, for many many functions (weddings and parties mostly), I’ve played at Sidmouth, Chippenham, Lichfield and Whitby folk festivals, Lichfield, Swansea, Southport, London, and Wigan Jazz Festivals…and so you get the idea..!
Can you put a band on for my event? Yes, absolutely, and I’d be delighted to. Just let me know what you want, where and when. If you would like some background jazz, a night of jazz standards, with or without vocals (I don’t sing by the way…), or if you would like a party/function band I can either put one together, or recommend one of the ones I regularly work with. I have both bands made up of professional musicians, and semi-professional musicians, to suit your budget and needs!
Do you do lessons? Yes, I work for Forest Arts in Walsall, so am an experienced teacher at both brass and guitar. I offer private lessons within the Lichfield district. Please get in touch about trumpet or guitar lessons, or lessons on jazz improvisation and composition. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Can I join Blast Off? I’d be delighted to hear from you if you are interested in joining Blast Off. Whilst Blast Off is a community group, I do recommend you have some level of proficiency on your instrument. I’d say it’s roughly Grade 5 standard and above. However, please don’t let that put you off getting in touch!
Who is your favourite trumpeter? It has to be French jazz/fusion trumpeter, Nicolas Folmer. He is a superb player, and a huge influence to me.
In Lichfield, Nick leads the community big band “Blast Off” from bass guitar, not trumpet!
(photo John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk)