Trumpet player for award-winning stars of TV, Theatre and Radio
Having graced the stages of venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, Madame JoJo’s and The Barbican and appearing alongside stars of TV, Radio and London’s West End, Nick is no stranger to performing in a variety of genres and settings. Beginning with him appearing live with award-winning singer Rick Guard at Manchester 235, Nick’s professional career has also seen him in recording and film studios for stars of BBC Introducing, Kerrang Radio (including a Single of the Week) and NME Radio and onstage with even more stars of BBC Introducing and MTV Unsigned. In addition to this, Nick has played for over a dozen musicals including Jesus Christ Superstar, The Producers and Annie and he has completed contracts with Saga Cruises and Imperial Show.
Aside from performing and teaching, Nick has composed and arranged Horn parts for a variety of bands and artists such as I Am Harlequin, Dodson & Fogg and John Larson & The Silver Fields and is currently in-house Horn arranger for Singer/Songwriter Olly Flavell, providing charts for his upcoming EP and tour.
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Interview with Nick Jolly
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Apart from the usual deadline and budget questions my main question is: What do you want the horn line(s) to add to the track? Are they subtle and just there to add colour or are they an 'in your face', stand out feature?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If you have an idea of what you would like, if possible, have some examples of songs which demonstrate it - it helps us to get a feel for what you want. Also, have a look at instrument ranges and characteristics before sending a guide track - session players are great at what they do but some things just aren't possible.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If you can afford that extra dollar, pound or euro then do. It's better to pay a bit extra upfront than having to spend more in the long run getting work redone or buying new equipment.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I mostly work on rock and pop music in the studio but I have been known to do folk and indie as well. On stage, it tends to be big band/swing music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Composing and arranging brass and string parts. Although my degree is in Performance, I actually majored in composition which has helped me develop an understanding of how instruments work together.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start by discussing what is needed with the artist/producer. If they already have a trumpet guide track I will transcribe it and record it straight away. If the artist/producer needs me to write the trumpet lines I will listen to the track a few times and jot some ideas down. When I am happy that I have what I think the artist/producer is looking for I will create a MIDI trumpet track for them to listen to. If they are happy with what I have written I then record the real thing and send it over.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Being a trumpet player, I am regularly called on to record riffs for pop or rock songs - often with my horn section (The In-House Horns). I do a large amount of live perfomance - again, with IHH - but I also spend a lot of time playing in Big Bands and Pit Orchestras.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Style... Colour... That little added something!