Check out the great feature and interview with Epiphone's Nick Colionne in the recent issue of Charlotte County Florida Weekly in honor of his appearance at the 13th Annual Wine and Jazz Festival, coming this weekend on February 24 at Punta Gorda's Laishley Park. "Guitar was my very first instrument," Colionne told the Florida Weekly. "I think from the day I started playing it was what I wanted to do."

We've been big fans of Nick for a long time and over the last few years, the world has finally caught on. Mr Colionne's recent singles and albums have been regular Billboard chart toppers including his single "Morning Call," which got to #1 on the Smooth Jazz Chart last spring. Visit Nick Colionne's website for tour details and check out our Jazz Summit interview with Matt Marshak and Tim Bowman.

"You know, I played a lot of different types of music growing up. I played everything from rock and roll to blues, jazz, and r&b," Colionne told"And I think when I started to do my own solo career, I had kind of already started to feel where my sound was. I knew it was kind of gritty but it was also really smooth sounding. When I started doing my own records--and at that time I was playing the (Epiphone) Joe Pass--I started feeling that I could get a bite but still have that mellowness. Not as mellow as Wes Montgomery but somewhere in-between.

And I was spending my life trying not to sound like Wes Montgomery (laughs) and trying not to sound like George Benson--trying to have a sound of my own. And it started coming and developed over a long period. I'd say 'oh it's too bright or it's too muddy'--trying to find that happy medium. Your sound is an extension of your personality. I'm not passive and I'm not aggressive--I want to be right in-between."