Nominated for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year, guitarist/composer Nic Vardanega is an innovative artist on the international jazz scene. Currently based in New York City, he has played with many of Australia's leading musicians including pianist Mike Nock and alongside many first call New York City musicians.
After completing a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance where he held a merit scholarship at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2012, Nic worked extensively as a sideman and bandleader in Australia. He has appeared at many of the country's leading festivals including the Manly Jazz Festival, Noosa Jazz Festival and Darling Harbour Jazz Festival.
In December 2014, Nic released his debut album as a leader, Inverno, a collection of original music inspired by his Italian heritage with his Sydney quartet. The album was met with critical acclaim culminating with a nomination in the prestigious Bells Australian Jazz Awards.
Nic has also been a longtime sideman and collaborator with pianist/composer Francesca Prihasti. In addition to performances worldwide, he has appeared on three of her studio recordings, Night Trip (2015), Evolving (2016) and Adriana (2019).
Since relocating to New York City in 2016, Nic completed a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies at New York University after receiving a scholarship from the American Australian Association. His second recording as a leader, Point in Time, comprised a snapshot of these first years immersed in the "Big Apple" and was released in 2019 featuring Grammy nominated American trumpeter Michael Rodriguez.
His most recent recording, New Beginning, presented a trio outing with the empathetic New York City rhythm section of Ben Allison on bass and Allan Mednard on drums and received a 4-star review in the Weekend Australian. Released in 2023, Vardanega dedicates this album to the advent of a post pandemic world and in welcoming the arrival of his first child.
"Vardanega is pushing the boundaries of jazz music in new and exciting ways."
Nolan DeBuke - The Jazz Word
"The more you listen to this music, the more you are drawn into a rather exquisite world..."
Eric Myers - The Weekend Australian
"New Beginning is a significant contribution to the jazz guitar trio canon, showing Vardanega is a gifted guitarist and composer whose music navigates the complexities of modern jazz with grace and innovation."
Stamish Malcuss - Jazz Sensibilities
"His playing is intricate and expressive, showcasing his ability to weave complex melodies with emotional depth."
Griff Stevens - 5 Finger Review
"Australian Nic Vardanega is a master player and Point in Time confirms he's a force to be reckoned with in the jazz-guitar world."
Preston Frazier - Something Else Reviews