Clovis Nicolas

Clovis Nicolas

Acoustic Bass icon Acoustic Bass

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49 age

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March 13, 1975 Birthday

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Abidjan, Ivory Coast Birthplace

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Clovis Nicolas is a jazz bassist and composer based in New York City. Prior to moving to New York in 2002, he had already established himself in the jazz scene in France. At the Juilliard School's Jazz Program, he studied under Ron Carter and Kendall Briggs, earning both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree. He has worked with a range of musicians including Peter Bernstein, Cedar Walton, Jane Monheit, Marcus Giulmore, and Branford Marsalis. In addition to his work as a sideman, Nicolas has also released several successful albums as a leader, with his 2014 debut "Nine Stories" being named one of the Best Albums of the Year by Downbeat Magazine.


Clovis Nicolas won the Lavoisier Scholarship from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2003, Clovis Nicolas was the inaugural recipient of the Ron Carter Scholarship Award; it was presented to him by actor Danny Glover. Clovis Nicolas' album "Autoportrait" was recorded during the pandemic and is a solo bass project.

Early Life

Clovis Nicolas was born in 1975 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where his father was a researcher. When he was seven years old, the family moved to Provence, France. As a child, he learned to play the piano, but eventually became interested in the bass. He attended the University of Aix-en-Provence and studied philosophy, and later attended the Conservatory of Music in Marseilles. In 1996, Nicolas moved to Paris, where he quickly gained a reputation as a talented sideman, working with artists such as Brad Mehldau, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and the Belmondo Quintet. With the latter group, he won four Grammy Awards.