In his words…
When I came into the band, Patti wanted to move into doing more R&B and Soul music so we started working on the sounds. I like this kind of music. I have an affinity for it. That’s what I listen to in my spare time. I think the people in the audience like the kind of music we play and have a good time. People dance to it. It is blues based but fun.
I love playing with the band. It is my favorite thing that I do. Patti Parks is one of those people that as soon as she walks on the stage everybody loves it. She has the aura and she puts on a show.
Most people know Nick as the premier bass player in the WNY region responsible for leading the rhythm section of Buffalo’s best bands for nearly 40 years. A member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, he is also renowned for his versatility, mastering styles from funk to blues to R&B to Country & Western. You may not know that Nick has also played on 85 CDs including recordings at some of the most famous studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Nashville, Memphis and Buffalo. He is currently establishing a new production company that will feature the distinctive Buffalo music sound.
Nick started playing sax at the age of 9 years old and in 1963 at the age of thirteen he moved to Fender bass, which has been his instrument of choice. His first band was called the Savages and they played Rock and Roll at a lot of dances. This band was important, as a guitar player Fred Rapillo, joined group and helped the band go to a new level. He inspired Nick into learning more about music, paying attention to the details and playing with passion. He started playing with a variety of local blues bands in the middle sixties before joining the Marine Corp from 1969-1971.
Nick started playing in 1973 played with Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps where he traveled extensively on the road until 1977. Then he played with Sam Guarino in National Trust Band and performed Country and Western music with other bands. In 1979-1980 Nick put together the Buffalo Blues Band (also known as the Blues Brothers). In 1981, Nick went on the road again with a Gene Ferrari, a romantic singer from Rome Italy. In 1982 The Buffalo Blues Band evolved into Billy McEwan and the Soul Invaders.
One of Nick’s ambitions was to work with one of his favorite bands, Stan and the Ravens. Nick played with them until Stan Szelest died in 1991. In early 90s, he worked with Doug Morgano to create the Morvels, which was a band that backed up many different singers. He started doing R&B Revues in 1995 that included many local singers. He also played with Mr. Conrad and the Excellos, Lee Ron Zydeco and with Lou Pride. Nick has performed with the Cruisin’ Deuces for 8-9 years. They are known for their matinee shows. Nick joined the Patti Parks Band in 2010.
Nick has performed as a sideman at variety of events including County Fairs, Buffalo Blues Festivals, M&T Bank Series, Italian Festival, Taste of Buffalo, Thursday at the Square, Tribute to the Troops, Music Festivals in Long Beach and Montauk Long Island, Zydeco Festival in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Zydeco Festival in Erie, Pennsylvania, Barbecue Festival, Lilac Festival, New York State Blues Festival (1991), and the New York State Fair. Nick has also produced many blues festivals with Dominic Puntoriero at the Blues Room.
He is a producer with Sessions Recording Studio doing 20-30 projects with a variety of artists. Some notable recordings he has produced include Mr. Conrad and Excellos Album, The First Morvels R&B Revue, Johnny Soul, Big Wheelie’s second albums and Terry Buckwald.Some notable stars that Nick has played with includes Bobby Blue Bland, James Cotton, Sam and Dave, Lloyd Price, Di Franco Family, Paul Anka, Dion, Wayne Jackson and the Memphis Horns and many more.
Nick was inducted into the Buffalo Hall of Fame in 1994. He is on the Board of Directors of this organization serving as Sergeant of Arm and Nominating Committee since 1994. He proudly plays a Fender Bass.