Lion Hearted

Nicholas Payton is making a modern jazz name for himself -- at his leisure

Because of the Crescent City authenticity served up on each of his recordings and the noirish cityscapes of Nick@Night, Payton's work would seem to lend itself easily to film scores. Though he's tackled a few small-scale projects, composing for a major movie has eluded him. "I would love to score for films," he says, "but it's a very hard end of the business to break into. The same handful of artists write for most of the motion pictures we see. But I'm trying to find an in -- so if any [directors] happen to be reading this publication, give me a job!"

Payton had a bit part in Robert Altman's 1996 feature Kansas City, playing himself, but he isn't eyeing that as another avenue to explore. "Well, I've never really acted," he insists. "I wouldn't call what I did in Kansas City acting -- we were just being ourselves, being musicians."

New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton blows in the key of Satchmo
New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton blows in the key of Satchmo

Details

At the Hollywood Jazz Festival. Friday, November 9. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $30; call 954-924-8175.


"Captain Crunch (Meets the Cereal Killer)" sample
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"Do You Believe in Love at Sight" sample
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Central Performing Arts Center, 1770 Monroe St., Hollywood

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For now, however, with the aplomb of a master tactician, Payton has placed himself in the pantheon of today's greats with an eerily accurate link to the past. And that's exactly how he wants it. "I just try to be the best musician I can be. I just try to give up myself and share the love and joy I have for the music, and hopefully that translates to the people. So, I'm living my dream."

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