Erik Nielsen
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Erik Nielsen

Rochester, New York, United States | INDIE

Rochester, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Words & Music"

The smooth sax play of Erik Nielsen is on full display on his new CD, A Sense of Hope. Supporting his first ever solo release, Nielsen is an expressive artist whose instrunemtal tracks speak to the listener in a luxurious language. Drawing upon his his love of soul, gospel, blues and R&B, Nielsen melds these stylings into his own sound. - Michelle Parcardo - FREETIME Magazine

"CD Review"

Erik Nielsen: A Sense of Hope. I'm not, by nature, a smooth jazz fan (I like my jazz with edges). Still, I could enjoy this new CD by Rochesterian Erik Nielsen because of the consistent, strong tone of his sax playing. He credits the influence of David Sanborn, and that's clear in his approach to the horn, to his predilection for forceful melodic ballads and for rock-rhythmed up-tempo tracks. His biggest influence, though, is his religious faith, which shows up mostly in the titles of this instrumental music. The CD was recorded in both Nashville and Rochester. (My only production quibble: Brief snippets of largely inaudible conversation on a few tracks. Lose them.) Again, this CD is not my cup of musical tea, yet it went down smoothly.

Jack Garner - Jazz Lover, Democrat & Chronicle Columnist - Rochester Democrat & Chronicle


"The Water Drill Project" - Doc Kavanaugh (2009)
"Revisiting Hymn" - Oasis LLC (2008)
"A Sense of Hope" - Erik Nielsen (2008)
"Oasis Jazz Volume VIII #4 Radio Sampler" (2008)
Ain't the Same" - Lisa Wiinter (2008)
"Sandy Weber" - Sandy Weber (2008)
"A Sense of Hope" EP - Erik Nielsen (2007)
"In His Pressence" - Nathan Salter (2005)
"Live At Seabreeze" - Wales Road (2001)
"Blue Plate Special" - Brad Gillis Band (1995)
HeirChex Digital Servicing

I am currently receiving airplay on for "It Is Finished", and "Reed My Lips"



With his first solo release, A Sense of Hope, Rochester saxophonist Erik Nielsen has melded musical genres drawn from his love of soul, gospel, blues, R&B, and jazz into a kaleidoscope of smooth rhythms, lush phrases, and thought-provoking melodies.

Erik’s love of music started at the tender early age of three, when he and his five-year old sister recorded the vocals to ”Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” onto a mono cassette tape recorder. While their rendition never made it beyond the family dinner table, the experience wet Erik’s musical appetite.

By the time he was 10, Erik had begun playing the sax in the elementary school band when an aunt supplied him with a saxophone that had been sitting around gathering dust. It was at this time that Erik began to understand that there was more to music than just playing notes.

“To be honest, I never enjoyed playing the sax, or music for that matter, until I was a junior in high school, when my friends and myself would go in early, and jam before concert band rehearsals,” says Erik. “I knew I enjoyed playing music, but never made the connection between playing the sax and creating music with my sax.”

It was after hearing David Sanborn’s “Summer” in college jazz ensemble that Erik says, “I realized how powerful and influential the sax could be in contemporary music.”

During his years at Nazareth College in Rochester, Erik was involved in various party bands and original bands, cutting his teeth in the local music scene, and gaining experience writing his own material. “One of the significant things I learned from my saxophone professor in college, was the importance of phrasing, no matter the genre of music. Without phrasing and emotion, it just becomes notes on paper. Music is about feeling and expression of emotion, and I try to convey that emotion in my playing.”

While the sax was Erik’s passion, it was his spiritual awakening that had the greatest impact on his life, and eventually his music. “I reached a point in my life where I started to question my own existence, and what my purpose in life was,” says Erik. “I had more questions than answers, and it seemed the more I tried to figure things out on my own, the more miserable I became.” Erik came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in the fall of 1998, and since that time has dedicated his talents to serving the ultimate musician and composer, Jesus Christ.

Armed with a renewed artistic and spiritual passion, Erik’s musical career has taken off. He’s performed with artists like Paul Boutte, Alvin Parris III, Jimmie Highsmith Jr., Paul Gaspar, and Nathan Salter. He’s participated in nationally-recognized conventions The Joshua Revolution, Arts Reconnect, and Kingdom Bound Ministries. In addition, Erik’s made guest appearances on several recording projects ranging in style from retro 1950’s girl band music, to gospel-influenced, praise and worship, acoustic folk to Latin and salsa.

Erik has also showcased his talents to legendary producers, Roscoe Hamby and Derrick “DOA” Allen of Roc Diamond Records. “I’ve always heard it said, and I now believe, that the key to being a successful musician is to diversify yourself by getting involved in various genres of music, constantly expanding your musical repertoire through experience,” Erik explains.

“It is my desire that my playing and recordings touches the lives of those who listen to it, and through the music, lives are transformed forever.”