Long Bio

Praised as “clearly a name to watch” by All About Jazz and first prize winner of the North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Competition 2018, Nicola Caminiti is an multi-award winning Italian saxophonist, composer, educator and bandleader based in New York City. Born and raised in Sicily, Italy, Nicola is considered one of the leading musical figures among his generation for his intensely creative modern concepts based on interplay and rhythmic mastery, still embracing a sense of musical tradition.

Nicola Caminiti Jazz Gallery New York

Since relocating to New York City in 2015 to study at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music as recipient of the International Advisory Board scholarship, he had the opportunity to develop his voice playing alongside some of the most interesting upcoming artists in today’s jazz scene such as Abdulrahman Amer, Chris Fishman, Morgan Guerin, Jongkuk Kim, Lex Korten, Adam O’Farrill and Benjamin Tiberio. He also shared the stage and recorded with worldly famed and multi-awarded musicians like Billy Childs, Stefon Harris, Ingrid Jensen, Joe Lovano, Pedrito Martinez, Arturo O’Farrill and the Grammy award-winning AfroLatin Jazz Orchestra, Logan Richardson, Bobby Sanabria and his Multiverse Big Band, Manuel Valera and others. He had the chance to perform with his projects as a leader in clubs around the city such as The Jazz Gallery and the Bar Next Door as well as a sideman at Birdland, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Harlem Stage, Rockwood Music Hall and at the Village Vanguard guesting for one tune with the Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet.

Nicola Caminiti Umbria Jazz 2018

In parallel with his work in the US, he collaborated with musicians from the Italian jazz scene, performing in the most important jazz clubs and festivals in the country (Umbria Jazz, Veneto Jazz, Vicenza Jazz, Firenze Jazz Club). He is a stable member of a number of collectives led by drummer Mimmo Cafiero, pianist Emanuele Filippi, with whom he regularly perform in New York as well, drummer Emanuele Primavera, bassist Michelangelo Scandroglio and guitarist Luca Zennaro with whom he recorded two album, released for Caligola Records, Javaskara (2018) and When Nobody’s Listening (2020).

Nicola grew up musically influenced by his father’s large collection of jazz records and started taking music lessons at the age of four. Deeply inspired by the sound of saxophonists such as John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, he picked up the saxophone at the age of eight, after three years of classical piano, and never put it down. Mentored at first by the Sicilian saxophonist Orazio Maugeri and later on by the percussionist Mimmo Cafiero, he quickly established himself as one of the most interesting rising musicians in Italy. This led him to win many Italian jazz awards early age in his life such as Premio Pippo Ardini 2012, Premio Enzo Randisi 2013, and, moreover, being selected as lead alto of the Orchestra Nazionale Jazz Giovani Talenti (ONJGT), a 26-piece orchestra composed of some of the most relevant musicians under 40 in Italy, which released, in 2015, a nationally acclaimed record called “Ma che ci fanno le foglie negli armadi?” (Camilla Records).

Nicola Caminiti Afro Cuban Orchestra New York

Alongside a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music (BM 2019), Nicola attended seven years of classical conservatory in his hometown Messina earning, in July 2015, a Master’s degree in classical saxophone.

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