Massachusetts
Profile Type: Artist
Artist
Michael Nix

Michael Nix performs concerts on classical guitar and a completely unique instrument that he designed combing elements of the banjo and the classical guitar – which sounds somewhat like a cross between the banjo, guitar, and lute. The concert repertoire includes original compositions with influences from classical, jazz, ragtime, folk, and international music, colorful arrangements, and classical banjo and classical guitar pieces—From Bach to Bluegrass!

Michael Nis Offers Three Concert Programs as full concerts or 1 hour programs:
1) Banjar: The Art of the Modern 7-String Banjo
2) Classical Guitar and Banjar, a Seven-string Classical Banjo
3) From “Banza” to “Banjar”, A Lecture-Concert

Program Descriptions:

1) Banjar: The Art of the Modern 7-String Banjo

Michael Nix performs a concert of solo music for the Banjar, a modern seven-string classical banjo of his own design, which combines elements of the five-string banjo and the classical guitar. The first part of the program “From Bach to Bluegrass” explores influences on and music of the classical banjo in traditional banjo tunings. The second part features Nix’s compositions and arrangements in various tunings that express the wealth of texture and timbre of the instrument.

“Michael Nix takes the listener along on a new voyage with a completely different musical vessel. Listeners will discover a shimmering versatility.” --Ritchie Davis, The Recorder

Sample Program:

Banjar: The Art of the Modern Seven-String Banjo
Michael Nix, Banjar

I. From Bach to Bluegrass, Music for Banjar

Prelude from Cello Suite No. 1 J.S. Bach

Lord Inchequin/Carolan’s Concerto Tulough O’Carolan

Zarana (Oriental Quick Step) Joe Morley

Spanish Fandango Variations Michael Nix

Precious Memories (1925) J.B.F. Wright

Intermission

II. The Music of Michael Nix and Arrangements for Banjar

Wintersong Michael Nix

Barton Cove Michael Nix

Sarabande, Bm Violin Partita J.S. Bach

Dallas Rag (1927) Dallas String Band

Healing Dance from “Labyrinth” Michael Nix

Greensleeves Variations Michael Nix

Summertime George Gershwin

Canarios Gaspar Sanz

2) Classical Guitar and Banjar, a Seven-string Classical Banjo

Michael Nix performs a concert of solo music for the Classical Guitar and the Banjar, a modern seven-string classical banjo of his own design. The first part of the program features Nix’s compositions and arrangements in a wealth of musical styles for Classical Guitar. The second part “From Bach to Bluegrass” explores music of the classical banjo

“Thank you for presenting such a stunning concert...” Brick Church Series, Old Deerfield, MA

Sample program:

Classical Guitar and Banjar, a Seven-string Classical Banjo
Michael Nix, Classical Guitar and Banjar

I. Music for Guitar, the Compositions and Arrangements of Michael Nix

Wintersong Michael Nix

Prayer for the Victims of Terrorism Michael Nix

Healing Dance from “Labyrinth” Michael Nix

Greensleeves Variations Michael Nix

Choro Michael Nix

Asturias (Leyenda) Isaac Albeniz (arr. Segovia)

Summertime George Gershwin (arr. Nix)

Canarios Gaspar Sanz (arr. Nix )

Intermission

II. From Bach to Bluegrass, Music for Banjar

Sarabande, Bm Violin Partita J.S. Bach (arr. Nix)

Barton Cove Michael Nix

Lord Inchequin/Carolan’s Concerto Tulough O’Carolan (arr. Nix)
Zarana (Oriental Quick Step) Joe Morley

Spanish Fandango Variations Michael Nix

Precious Memories (1925) J.B.F. Wright (arr. Nix)

3) From “Banza” to “Banjar”, A Lecture-Concert

A history of the banjo and its music from the 1600’s to modern times.

Michael Nix presents a short history of the banjo in America in a lecture-concert, featuring three types of historical banjos and the Banjar, a modern seven-string classical banjo of his own design:
The “Banza “ or Gourd Banjo (1630’s-early 1800’s) Early music of African dance, minstrel music, and the influence of African and minstrel banjo on Appalachian banjo styles.
The Classical 5-String Banjo (mid to late 1800’s to present day) The influence of European classical guitar playing on finger-style classical banjo.
The modern 5-String Bluegrass Banjo (Early 1900’s) The influence of classical banjo style on modern bluegrass banjo styles.
The Banjar , A modern 7-String Classical Banjo (2004) The development of the modern 7-string classical banjo by Michael Nix with compositions and arrangements for the instrument.

“What an amazing concert. Your repertoire and skill held us enthralled. Thank you for an extraordinary evening.”
–Genevieve Fraser, Village Lyceum Series, First Congregational Parish, Unitarian, Petersham, MA

Sample program:

Banjar: The Art of the Modern Seven-String Banjo

Michael Nix

Banjo history and the development of the modern Banjar

The “Banza “ or Gourd Banjo (1630’s-early 1800’s)
Juba Dance African
Cripple Creek Appalachian

The Classical 5-String Banjo (mid to late 1800’s to present day)
Theme from Zarana Joe Morley

The modern 5-String Bluegrass Banjo (Early 1900’s)
Precious Memories melody J.B.F. Wright

The Banjar : A modern 7-String Classical Banjo (2004)
Zarana (Oriental Quick Step) Joe Morley

Spanish Fandango Variations Michael Nix

Precious Memories (1925) J.B.F. Wright

Intermission

Music for Banjar, Compositions and Arrangements of Michael Nix

Wintersong Michael Nix

Barton Cove Michael Nix

Sarabande, Bm Violin Partita J.S. Bach

Dallas Rag Dallas String Band

Greensleeves Variations Michael Nix

Choro Michael Nix

Summertime George Gershwin

Canarios Gaspar Sanz

Michael Nix, Banjar: The Art of the Modern 7-String Banjo

Michael Nix performs on Banjar, classical guitar, banjo, and mandolin, throughout the United States and Asia; has recorded for the PBS series "American Experience", several independent documentaries, numerous CD projects; and his compositions are performed internationally. His music has been heard "Weekend Edition", and other NPR programs.

Michael Nix plays on the seven-string Banjar, an instrument he has designed, which combines elements of the classical five-string banjo and the classical guitar. The Banjar's seven high-tension nylon strings sound somewhat like a cross between the banjo and guitar or lute. Nix combines lyrical expression with an insatiable musical curiosity to forge an intriguing performance style incorporating various musical genres and textures drawn from banjo, classical guitar, jazz, blues, and folk. His repertoire includes original compositions, classical, jazz, ragtime, folk music and pieces from the classical banjo and classical guitar canon.

Nix is currently on the New England States Touring Program. He participated in Seegerfest 2014, and other concerts commemorating the life of banjo player Pete Seeger. In 2012 Nix performed at the Surin International Folkore Festival in Thailand.

Nix toured as a member of the Monadnock Classical Guitar Duo, and as a soloist he was on the New Hampshire Touring Program for four years from 1979-1983. From 1977 to 1992 he toured and performed at folk and bluegrass festivals with singer and songwriter Rick Fiske playing 5-string banjo. Throughout the 1980’s he was a featured performer for the Connecticut Classical Guitar Society's Andres Segovia outreach program "The Guitar About Town. In 1988, he performed at the Bushnell Hall in Hartford CT, commemorating a 1931 Andres Segovia performance with Madam Emilita Segovia as the honored guest. Nix was member of The Moser/Nix Duo, which formed in 1995, performing music and recording for mandolin and guitar. He founded The NixWorks Ensemble in 1999, a flexible chamber ensemble, to explore multiple creative influences and genre. Nix formed The Pioneer Consort in 2005, with violinist Chris Devine, and cellist Greg Snedeker to play World Chamber Music. He currently performs with Chris Devine as the Devine-Nix Duo.

Michael Nix’s concerts have been described as “touching” and “transcendent”:

CD Discography

-"Barton Cove" Michael Nix solo Banjar

Original compositions, and arrangements of music from many disciplines including ragtime, Stephen Foster, O'carolan, classical banjo pieces, Beatles, and baroque guitar dances.

-"Preludes, Airs, and Dances" Michael Nix solo Classical Guitar,

Original compositions, Spanish classical guitar favorites, dances from Brazil, New England contra dances.

-"World View" Pioneer Consort, with Michael Nix banjar, guitar, and mandolin

World Chamber Music. Original compositions, and arrangements of music from many disciplines including folk musics from Brazil and Ireland, classic jazz, Tangos, and colorful arrangements of classics.

-"Noel" Pioneer Consort, with Michael Nix banjar, guitar, and mandolin.
Holiday Season favorites.

-"East & West" The Moser/Nix Duo,
Michael Nix Guitar; Charlie Moser, Mandolin.

Russian dances, Irish fiddle tunes, Brazilian Choro, Bartok Rumanian Folk Dances, Rags, and the Third Man Theme.

Offers Private Lessons and workshops

Additional Links: 
Video, Audio, and Press Articles on NixWorks, Michael Nix website
Michael Nix NixWorks YouTube Chanel more videos
Michael Nix NixWorks Flickr Photo Gallery
Michael Nix Tumblr Blog

I Have Worked With

  • September 2014

    Michael Nix & Annie Patterson
    9/7/2014, 6:30 PM
    WHAI Bear Country Community Stage
    Franklin County Fair, Greenfield , MA

    Songs from the popular sing-along book "Rise Up Singing" and the soon to be published sequel "Rise Again".

  • September 2014

    Michael Nix    Banjar! The Development and Construction of the modern 7-string banjo.
    9/16/2014, 12:1-:30 PM
    Newton Rotary Luncheon Series
    Newton, MA

    A lecture/concert about the design and development of a modern 7 string classical banjo.

  • August 2014

    Michael Nix    Banjar! The art of the modern 7-string banjo.
    8/3/2014, 6 PM Free! 20 minute performance.
    Coop Concerts
    Energy Park, Miles Street, Greenfield, MA

Pages

  • Artist

Contact Information

First Name: 
Michael
Job Title/Position: 
Musician
Mailing Address: 
PO BOX 400
GREENFIELD, MA 01302
Physical Address: 
PO BOX 400
Greenfield, MA 01302
Last Name: 
Nix
Phone: 
413-772-0328

About

Profile Type: 
Artist
Primary Discipline: 
Music - Ethnic / World
Additional Disciplines: 
Music - Chamber
Music - Composition
Music - Folk
Music - Jazz
Music - New
Music - Solo / Recital
Music - Traditional
Year Founded: 
2000
Populations Served: 
Adults
Businesses
Elders
Families
General Public
Nonprofits
People with Disabilities
School Groups
Teens
Institution/Business Type: 
Performing Groups
Activities and Services: 
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Performance / Concert / Reading / Assembly
Creation of a Work of Art (Including Commissions)
Residency - Community
Residency - In School
Residency - Other
Wedding / Parties / Private Gatherings
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class / Presentation
Events Per Year: 
50
Seasons Active: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
Geographic Reach: 
Town / City
County
Multi-County Region
State
Multi-State Region
National
International

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
Guitar Foundation of America
American Banjo Fraternity
Boston Classical Guitar Society
Education: 
BM, Guitar Performance, Keene State College, cum laude
MM, Music Composition, University of Massachusetts
Awards: 
1991 Massachusetts Music Teacher Association "Composer of the Year"
2001 Americans for the Arts, America Begins to Heal, "Prayer for the victims of Terror" by Michael Nix listed in national registry of works in response to 9/11 attacks
2002 Commission from Greenfield Community College with the Ann Sorvino Dance Project for "Labyrinth" a one year 9/11 remembrance work
1989-92 was selected as a featured performer "The Guitar About Town" outreach program, Connecticut Classical Guitar Society
1989 commission with composer Salvatore Macchia for a children's opera, University of Massachusetts Opera Workshop
1988 was one of four guitarists selected to perform at the Bushnell in Hartford, Ct. to honor Andres Segovia's 1931 performance there.

I am a Touring Artist

I am NEST eligible
Technical Requirements: 
1 Chair, no arms, seat approx 19" from floor, OR 1 tall stool with seat approx. 29" from the floor.
PA system with one instrumental mic (SM 57 or AKG 1000s) and one vocal mic (SM 58, or SM 58 Beta). Artist can provide PA if necessary. A GROUNDED THREE PRONG outlet at the performance site would be required.
Sufficient general or warm lighting on stage to read music, unless other arrangements (candle light concert, etc.) are made.
Raised stage (or tall stool) for good audience sight lines.
Secure Green Room or waiting area for instrument and case storage.
Fee Range Minimum: 
$500
Fee Range Maximum: 
$3,500
State of Residence: 
Massachusetts
Minimum Number of Performers: 
1
Maximum Number of Performers: 
1

I am a Teaching Artist

Ages Served: 
Elementary School-age
Middle School-age
High School-age
College-Age
Adults
Certifications / Training: 
BM, Guitar Performance
MM, Music Composition
Fee Range Minimum: 
$500
Fee Range Maximum: 
$3,500