Peter Nelson

Trombonist/Vocalist/Composer Peter Nelson brings clarity and a warm sound to the NYC music scene. 

Born in Lansing, MI., Nelson found the trombone at age 10. He quickly became immersed in improvised music, performing regularly as a sideman and leader. Earning a bachelors degree in Jazz Studies at Michigan State University allowed Peter to study and perform with some of today’s top jazz artists such as renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker. After spending a year after college producing and recording his second album as a leader, Nelson moved to Brooklyn, NY where he currently performs, composes, and teaches in a number of musical settings. 

Nelson has been a finalist in every major North American jazz trombone competition and in 2012 was awarded the prestigious Sudler prize in the Arts. He leads multiple groups performing new exciting original music. Nelson is also a sought after section player, having performed with jazz orchestras backing the likes of John Hendricks, McCoy Tyner, Benny Golson, Jamie Cullum and Terence Blanchard to name a few. 

In a review of Nelson’s current release, Watercolors, his vocal styling were said to “Embody the sensitivity of Chet Baker and the extroversion of Mark Murphy”. His writing for strings was also applauded as “Neither saccharine nor maudlin, but a sweeping touch here, a pizzicato moment there”. -Mike Stratton, Vinyl Side of Midnight 

Aside from being a clinician and guest artist, Nelson has taught in some of the most successful youth music programs in the country. Most notably, he was a four year faculty member of the Detroit Civic Jazz Programs teaching jazz trombone, New Orleans music, jazz theory and instructing various ensembles. He is currently a member of the Jazz faculty at the Brooklyn Friends School and JALC wee-bop programs.

As a composer, Nelson has amassed a body of work that includes everything from jazz ensemble to contemporary pop. His music has been featured in films, art installations, dance, and has been heard at clubs and concert halls across the country. 

Nelson’s versatility as a performer has led to a wide variety of performances and recordings with artists such as Verve Pipe, Rodney Whitaker, The Captain Black Big Band, Jamie Cullum, The Hudson Horns, Marianne Solivan, Dan Pugach nonet, Matt Wilson, Grupo Aye’, The George Gee Swing Orchestra, Fleur Seule, Valerie Ponomarev, Michael Dease Big Band, and a score of others.