He has played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Cobo Arena in Detroit, the London Palladium, The Los Angeles Forum, the Arie Crown Theatre, The Vic and Riviera in Chicago. His presence has lit up jazz festivals such as North Sea, Elkhart, Milwaukee and The Newport News. He has toured Internationally in Switzerland, UK, Germany, Bahamas, Japan, Italy, Holland and Canada. He's shared the stage with such notables as the Impressions, Curtis Mayfield, The Staples Singers, Natalie Cole and has written for Paul Anka and Johnnie Mathis. Who is this Jazz Guitarist currently taking the Jazz world by storm? Epi representative Will Jones chats with Epi endorsee Nick Colionne:

EPI: Good morning Nick! I should ask you a pertinent musical question first, but since it's early I ought to ask you what you had for breakfast…

NICK: (Laughs) I haven't had breakfast yet…I just got out of the shower….That's what happens…stayin' up late trying to make music…just recording sixteen bars at three o'clock in the morning.

EPI: That's great! Typical musician lifestyle…So let's start from the beginning. How did you get started on guitar?

NICK: I got started playing in my house…my step-father played Jazz guitar and passed it on to me. My brother and I (he played drums) started a band and my biological father became our manager. We played around town at a lot of college shows, won a lot of city-wide contests. We won some studio time so we recorded a single and sold them to our family and friends…everybody we knew had one! We continued playing in high school and started doing road gigs when I was 15. We went to New York and played…it was strange… I was 15 and the other folks were in their twenties. I did the back-up thing most of my career until about 9 years ago when I decided to do my own thing. I recorded my first CD "It's My Turn", that's around the time I met up with the folks at Epiphone. Our fourth CD is on the Three Keys label called "Just Come On In" and is #1 on the World Smooth Jazz chart.

EPI: Tell me more about your new CD…

NICK: It's mostly original songs except 3, I collaborated on three…and I did this album before I had my record deal. Most all of it was recorded with my Epiphone Broadway…I also used my Gibson L-4 on a couple of songs.

EPI: So, do folks ever come up to you at your shows and thank you for making such, well, romantic music?

NICK: (Laughs) Oh yeah…kids were conceived on certain songs…"My daughter was conceived during Just Come On In"…I say well just don't ask me for any support money…you'd be surprised…as long as they don't have the government take any money out of my check…I wasn't there for THAT part!

EPI: Tell me about your relationship with Epiphone.

NICK: Jim Rosenberg heard my first CD and said "we could use an artist like you on our roster" so, I hooked up with him and Cara Hogan and the rest is history, as they say…You know, with each record's success, other guitar companies come out of the cracks and tell me they will give me a certain guitar or they will make another custom guitar for me, but I tell them "no thanks I'm happy where I am….they make what I like"…I wouldn't want to do what some endorsees do… endorse one guitar and play a different one on stage… with Epiphone the quality is great, the support is great!

EPI: What have you not done musically that you would like to?

NICK: (Laughs) I'd like to produce a hit record on somebody else…that's one of my dreams.

EPI: What advice do you have for folks just getting started on Jazz guitar?

NICK: Listen to other great guitar players…to the masters who created the Jazz guitar…Wes Montgomery, Django Rheinhart, Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel, George Benson…Herb Ellis…he is my man. Just listen to these guys and pick up licks and try to incorporate them into what you do. Don't just copy a guy's solo, listen to the way he approached the piece, what made him play that set of notes…not just what notes did he play, but the feeling there…mix a little bit of this and that and that's what you become.

For more information, visit Nick on-line at www.threekeys.com/ArtistNickColionne.asp.