Information reaching our news desk has that legendary guitarist, Nick Colionne has passed away. He was reported to have died today January 1 2021. The news of his death filtered the social as many of his fans flooded to pen down their heartfelt tribute.
Nick who was one of the funkiest guitarists on the contemporary jazz scene touched many lives through the journey of his musical career.
Two-time Grammy nominee, Mindi Abair confirmed the sad news of Nick’s demise through her official Facebook page.
As posted by Mindi on her Facebook page:- I’m at a loss for words. We lost a beautiful soul, an amazing performer and a good friend this morning. He did so much to bring music education to kids behind the scenes, played his heart out every night on stage, and always was a gentleman on and off stage. RIP Nick Colionne. I celebrate him with this photo… one of my favourite moments on stage with him.
Nick Colionne has spent most of his 20-year career teaching and guiding pupils. Colionne rose to prominence in the Chicago region in the 1990s with his debut, It’s My Turn, drawing on the soulful jazz style of inspirations such as Wes Montgomery, George Benson, and Grover Washington, Jr.
Simultaneously, he blended his passion for music with a devotion to teaching, working with K-8 pupils in Elgin, Illinois. He has received awards for both endeavours throughout the years, including the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award in 2010 and the #1 spot on the smooth jazz charts the following year with his Feel the Heat CD.
Colionne began playing the guitar when he was nine years old, at the request of his stepfather. By the age of 15, he was a professional touring performer, and he spent much of his adolescence on the road with artists like the Staple Singers, Curtis Mayfield, the Impressions, and others. Colionne was passionate about music, but he also prioritized earning an education.
He went on to Malcolm X College in Chicago after high school and became an elementary school teacher. He worked for nearly 15 years as a music teacher and counsellor at St. Laurence Elementary School in Elgin, Illinois, in addition to performing.
Away from the classroom, Colionne pursued his music career, releasing a couple of smooth jazz and funk-influenced albums, including Arrival in 1996, The Seduction in 1999, and Just Come on In in 2003.
Colionne then signed with Narada for 2006’s Keepin’ It Cool and got the Wave Jazz Awards’ International Instrumental Artist of the Year Award in 2007. (following Chris Botti from the year before). After that, he joined Koch for the well-received No Limits in 2008.
He built a big European following by touring when he wasn’t teaching and coaching.
The American Smooth Jazz Awards nominated him for Guitarist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year in 2010, and he got the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award for his ongoing efforts in mentoring youngsters and advocating for breast cancer issues.
In 2010, he signed with Trippin’N’ Rhythm Records, and his debut single, Feel the Heat, reached the top of the smooth jazz radio charts the following year.
In 2014, there were repercussions. Its debut single, “Got to Keep Moving,” went to number one on the radio charts and was also played in dance clubs.
Maysa and James Lloyd were among the album’s guests. The Journey, his third album for Trippin’N’ Rhythm, was released in April 2016, followed by Just Being Me in 2018.
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