Nicholas Bridgman composes and performs contemporary jazz. He is classically trained, having debuted at age 16 with the New West Symphony, performing the Shostakovich First Piano Concerto. He studied with classical pianist Gloria Cheng and composer Miguel del Aguila. Throughout his studies, he took an interest in jazz, becoming familiar with voicings, performing arrangements of jazz standards, and playing jazz-influenced classical works such as Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.
But it was while in college, studying abroad at the University of Kent in England, that Nicholas decided to switch from classical and begin seriously studying jazz. He worked with jazz pianist David Rees-Williams in Canterbury, and upon returning to his home school, U.C. Berkeley, he joined ensembles in the UCJazz program, where he improvised over standards and played with different bands. At this time, Nicholas had still not begun composing his own jazz songs, but that was about to change. After graduating, Nicholas met guitarist Gary Tobin, who encouraged him to start writing and collaborated on compositions with him.
Over the coming years, Nicholas wrote many songs ranging from ballads to straight ahead to fusion pieces. A common thread in his writing has been the combination of inspiration from jazz greats such as Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock with modern influences from dance, folk, new age, and classical music. He strives to create music that is fun and easy to listen to, yet harmonically and melodically sophisticated at the same time.