Nathan Nykor is a keyboard player from Burk’s Falls, Ontario, currently residing in London, Ontario. He plays a variety of keyboard instruments, but mostly uses piano, rhodes and synthesizers. His music reflects an interest in classical and jazz piano, as well as hip hop, funk, ambient, electronic, and more. In addition to recording and producing music in his basement, Nathan does session and studio work, recently recording keys for a soon-to-be-released Francophone pop-rock album by Phillipe Mathieu, recorded in Sudbury, Ontario, among other projects.
In October of 2022, Nathan completed a MA in Music Theory from Western University, with a thesis on Barry Harris’ approach to jazz ballads. Prior to this, he completed a MMus in Piano Performance at Western focusing on classical music. Nathan’s music education path has been largely focused on classical music, however he has been playing in Jazz combos, big bands and other groups since beginning his music BA at Laurentian University in Sudbury in 2015. Currently, Nathan performs regularly with several jazz combos. He also plays keyboards and synthesizers in various groups including a hip hop band called Koala and the Cubz, and an indie band called Suzi Jacuzzi, all based in London, Ontario.
Nathan’s musical influences include Brad Mehldau, Robert Glasper, The Jeremy Ledbetter Trio, Kamaal Williams, Domi and J.D. Beck, BADBADNOTGOOD, Athletic Progression, Casiopea, and Abstract Orchestra. These acts share a background in traditional jazz, which they use as a stepping stone to facilitate freedom, creativity and improvisation in other genres such as rock, indie, pop, R&B, funk and hip hop. This freedom and creativity is with respect to harmony, form, instrumentation, and similar musical elements. Nathan’s background in classical piano performance and composition also informs his approach to jazz (similar to Brad Mehldau and Jeremy Ledbetter) with a preference for tightly organized forms, composed sections, and classical piano techniques.