Congrats to longtime Epi artist and jazz legend Nick Colionne who helped Epiphone and the Gibson Foundation raise $4,875 during the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in April to support music education in schools around Panama City Beach. Colionne, seen here with Mark Carter and Becky Taylor of Seabreeze and Cara Hogan of Epiphone, continues to support the city's recovery from last year’s hurricane and helped Michael B win a ES-175 Premium during the Festival's giveaway. Colionne will also be appearing on the Epiphone and Gibson Brands stage in Nashville during Summer NAMM and we can’t wait. Read our classic Jazz Summit feature with Nick, Matt Marshak, and Tim Bowman and visit Nick’s website for tour details as well as tickets to Nicks upcoming appearance at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Jazz Fest.

"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 Epiphone.com. “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."