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Nick Colionne

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Like many aspiring musicians, guitarist/vocalist Nick Colionne was born into the business. At the behest of his stepfather, he picked up the guitar at the age of nine. A professional touring artist by the age of 15, Colionne spent much of his time on the road with older musicians, often penciling in a fake mustache to fit in. However, his mother, Juanita, wasn't about to let her son get off without an education, so Nick graduated from high school, went to college, and became a teacher and mentor of elementary-school students in Elgin, IL. when he wasn't touring. He has been honored for his work with young people, and his labrpos for men re-entering the workforce and for breast cancer research. He released just four albums between 1994 and 2003, including the smooth jazz and funk collection Just Come On In. Colionne signed to Narada for 2006's Keepin' It Cool, and was International Instrumental Artist of the Year Award at the Wave Jazz Awards in 2007 (following Chris Botti from the year before). He moved over to Koch for 2008's well-recieved No Limits. Touring when he wasn't teaching and mentoring, he established a European audience. He was as nominated as Guitarist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year by the American Smooth Jazz Awards in 2010. That same year, he won the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award for his continuing efforts in mentoring children and championing breast cancer causes. He also signed to Trippin' 'N' Rhythm in 2010, one of the few labels not retreating from smooth and contemporary jazz during the period; they were instead doubling down. Colionne joined a roster that boasted Paul Hardcastle, Cindy Bradley, U-Nam, and many others. His debut for the label was 2011's Feel The Heat; it topped the charts at smooth jazz radio. Influences followed in 2014. Its first single "Got To Keep Moving," hit the top of airplay charts and made its way into dance clubs as well. Guests on the album included Maysa and James Lloyd. His third album for the label was The Journey, issued on April 1, 2016. ~ James Christopher Monger

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