2017 Clarence “Big” Miller Award Winner – Mboya Nicholson

The Clarence “Big” Miller Award is for demonstrating excellence in music (vocal, instrumental performance, composition or instructions

  • Born in Edmonton, Alberta 
  • Studied Classical Piano 
  • Jazz Piano Grant MacEwan  
  • University of New Orleans
  • Studied With Notable Figures
  • Master’s Degree
  • Performed with Jazz Greats
  • Solo – Wynton Marsalis
  • Genres: Jazz – Blues – Ragtime
  • Guadeloupe – Austria – Japan
  • Composer – Accomplished Pianist 

Jazz pianist M. Mboya Nicholson was born in Edmonton, where as a child he studied classical piano & developed an interest in Jazz music. After studying jazz piano at Mac Ewan University he began performing at city Jazz festivals and presenting concerts. In 1999 he began studying at the University of New Orleans & did so for 7 years. He earned a Master’s Degree. His studied with some of the most notable figures of Jazz including pianist, Ellis Marsalis Jr. & composer/music/producer Harold
Batt-ist. His studies afforded him performances in many places including, Guadeloupe, Brazil, Austria & Japan. He has performed for the Ambassador to the Vatican, the Counsel General of the Netherlands and in 1998 he was chosen to perform solo with trumpet great, Wynton Marsalis.
Mr. Nicolson is aware of the importance of exposing jazz to young audiences & he gives back to the community by performing jazz workshops for children @ the Winspear Center. He has written & composed numerous albums & as a composer he is influenced by the Caribbean & American standards.
All of Mr. Nicholson’s musical endeavours have been led by an underlying philosophy. “Good music is always in the present tense”.
And it’s his responsibility to make people feel that energy.



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