Nichols is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on
Classic Jazz and Ragtime, specializing in all older jazz piano
styles, including Scott Joplin, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller
and Duke Ellington.
in 1945, Keith took his first music lessons at five, both on
piano and accordion,
becoming Great Britain
Junior Champion on that instrument in 1960. After graduating
from the Guildhall School of Music, he turned professional,
and toured for seven years with the jazz-comedy band, "Levity
Lancers" in which he played piano, trombone and tuba.
the early seventies, he has given regular ragtime concerts at
London's South Bank, both as a soloist and with small groups.
first visited the U.S.A. in 1976, as a member of Richard Sudhalter's
New Paul Whiteman Orchestra, appearing in Philadelphia
and New York's Carnegie Hall.
credits include three solo albums for EMI, plus a host of others
for Decca, including one with Bing
Crosby. Since the mid-80's, he has been featured on more
that twenty albums for the American "Stomp Off" label, both
as bandleader and sideman.
1977, he formed the Midnite
Follies Orchestra with arranger Alan Cohen and has written
many arrangements and transcriptions in the 20's and 30's style,
notably for the New York Jazz Repertory Company, the Smithsonian
Institute Masterworks series, and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra.
Keith is freelance, performing all over the United Kingdom,
Europe and America. His current concert projects include tributes
to Fats Waller, Bix Beiderbecke, plus an ambitious chronological
show, "Jazz Classics Revisited."
1990, he was invited by musical director Bob Wilber to play
the piano part of Hoagy Carmichael on the soundtrack of the
feature film, "Bix" recorded in Rome.
Nichols continues to perform and record prolifically, as well
as lecturing on Jazz History at the Royal Academy and Trinity
Colleges. He has recreated the music of Fletcher Henderson on
CD, plus a volume of rare Duke Ellington and Fats Waller pieces,
and performed the music of Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall
Concert with the Royal Academy Big Band.
tours include France, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and
2003: at the Trinity Colledge of Music, Keith directed a recreation
of the 1924 Paul Whiteman "Experiment in Modern Music"
concert, which included a performance of "Rhapsody in Blue"
with the original instrumentation. This year also marks the
formation of a new orchestra, the ten-piece BLUE DEVILS, performing
jazz and hot dance music of the 20's, 30's and 40's.