Trying to fit Nick Colionne into a box solely for guitar players is a no-win proposition. Yes, his smooth guitar chops make him a known and sought-after quantity throughout the smooth-jazz sphere.
It’s just that Colionne’s world is bigger than that. Or, maybe it’s that he lives in many worlds and is comfortable doing so.
On Friday night (July 27), Colionne will be at The Guest House at Graceland, performing as the second artist in the Perfect Note Memphis Intimate Jazz Pop-Up series engineered by Tremayne Thompson and TK Productions, Inc.
Thompson said Colionne “stands in his own market.”
“He is one of the hardest working men in the business. He believes in the philosophy of putting it all out on the stage every single time. That’s the reason why he is so likeable in the industry.”
Colionne has a teacher’s mindset, literally. He taught elementary school after graduating from Malcolm X College in Chicago. For 15-plus years, he taught music and served as a counselor at St. Laurence Elementary School in Elgin, Ill. He went about the business of mentoring so seriously and with such success that he netted the Malcolm X College Alumnus of the Year Award in 1996.
If you didn’t know Colionne and just encountered him in a public setting, Thompson said you could expect him to be a model of fashion. “He’s kind of like Steve Harvey. I don’t think he owns a pair of jeans.”
Colionne’s show is the next step as TK Productions, which Thompson founded with his wife (Karen), drives stakes into Memphis. The goal is to provide smooth jazz in an intimate setting, along the order of the Perfect Note template in Hoover, Ala., just outside of Birmingham.
“I am enjoying the Memphis market,” Thompson said. “The response of the people is that this is long overdue. …(They want to) come out and enjoy a consistent product. That’s the result of what we have been hearing.”
Notably, said Thompson, an increasing stream of Memphis-area folks have been visiting the Birmingham-area club after taking in Eric Darius’ Mother’s Day show at the inaugural Perfect Note Memphis undertaking.
“Every weekend we get Memphis folks,” Thompson said. (They put up at a hotel, stay for the weekend, come visit us on a Saturday and might stay over for a Sunday when they find out we got that soul food menu with oxtails and neck bones.”
On September 7, Perfect Note Memphis will feature saxophonist Mike Phillips, the first non-athlete sponsored by the Jordan Brand. He will do two shows.
Locking in on the Colionne show, Thompson said, “Come dressed up and ready for a high-energy, exciting time all the way with Nick. And get a laugh because he is a comedian, for real. Seriously, I think he could go out on the road as a comic.”
The Thompsons and TK Productions, Inc. are presenting The Perfect Note Memphis Live-Music Pop-Up in conjunction with The Mid-South Gastroenterology Group, (Dr. Phillip R. Bowden), The Reaves Law Firm, (Attorney Henry Reaves), The Sims Financial Group, Inc., (Charles Sims Jr.) and The New Tri-State Defender (Dr. Karanja A. Ajanaku).
(The doors open at 7:30 p.m.; show time is 8:30 p.m. For tickets, visit https://bit.ly/2AbB0Bo. For more about Perfect Note, visit www.tkproductionsinc.com.)