Composers and Authors /

Gotham, Nic (1959 - 2013)

Biography   Works  

Niks Gothams
Niks Gothams
Foto 1

Composer and saxophonist Nic Gotham was born on September 27, 1959 near Southampton, England. He emigrated to Canada in 1963. He began studying classic guitar in Hamilton, Canada with Ron Colling and Gabrielle Kish. His chief instrument has been saxophone since 1972.

In 1986, he studied improvisation with Fred Stone, and keyboard improvisation and jazz harmony with Frank Falco in 1988–1990. He studied in the music program at York University (Toronto) from 1979–1982 and from 1990–1992, attended classes in composition with David Mott and 20th century music theory with James Tenney. He competed a bachelor’s degree in 1992. He continued studying privately with James Tenney (composition) and Trichy Sankaran (South Indian rhythm.)

By the beginning of the 1980’s Nic Gotham had become involved with jazz, forming his own jazz-funk group, Gotham City. In 1988, he co-founded the 14-piece improvising chamber orchestra Hemispheres performing in Canada and the U.S. In 1992, he founded the saxophone quartet 40 fingers, which toured in Canada and the Baltic states. 

In Toronto and in Riga, Latvia he participated in the program Composers in Electronic Residence teaching composition to high-school students via the internet. Nic Gotham has lived in Riga since 1998. He has worked as a teacher of saxophone, composition, harmony and improvisation at the Jelgava Music School and College, in the Riga Cathedral Choir School’s Contemporary Rhythmic Music program and in other educational projects and institutions.

He has been very active in the jazz community in Latvia, organising and teaching masterclasses during the jazz festivals Rhythms of Riga 2002, and Saulkrasti Jazz 2002, 2003 and 2004. He has performed at Liepaja Jazz Days (2002), in the concert series Jazz Spring (Riga, 2002), in the festival Jazzkaar (Tallinn, 1999), in the Lithuanian festival Birstonas Jazz (2002, 2004), the contemporary folk festival in Cesis Vendene 2003, and has been a jury member at the Brilliant Note saxophone competitions in Staicele (2000, 2001). He has also appeared at many Canadian jazz festivals since 1986 and at New York‘s Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors festival in 1990.

In his compositions as in his performance on saxophone, he combines a classical approach with jazz, composition and improvisation. Included in his list of compositions are works for various chamber ensembles, choir and chamber opera.

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