Nickel and Dime OPS
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Nickel and Dime OPS

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Hip Hop Jazz


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



"Nickel and Dime OPS: The Soulygamist"

By Shamika Sanders

Last Friday, I was invited to NYC's legendary spot The Cutting Room to check out hip-hop/jazz band Nickel and Dime OPS for the release party of The Soulygamist, which is NY emcee Nickel Killsmics' second release, but first under the Nickel and Dime OPS name.

The Nickel and Dime OPS consists of Nickel, Joe Strasser on drums, Jared Astin on organ and piano, Armand Hirsch & Andy Bianco on guitars, Freddie Hendrix, Jason Marshall and David Gibson on horns, Nathan Peck on bass, and last but not least, Victoria "Madame Secretary" Cave, Alej Sierra and Eliki on vocals.

"The album came together when a supporter of ours decided he wanted to put us in the studio." Nickel explains. "He was dead set on us capturing what it is that we have been doing live. So we recorded 7 of the tunes we agreed to be our best, plus ended up writing some new ones in the process. The end result turned out to be this soulful, musical, hip hop carnival."

The Soulygamist is 100% raw element and it's definitely a treat. No samples or computer generated beats, just soulful musical union anchored strong in the hip hop pocket by Nickel’s lyrics. With tracks such as "You Were Always There", "Death of Superman", "Shadow of Man" and "Existential", the album takes eclectic twists and turns throughout as the great musicians of the Dime OPS each take their moments to demonstrate their own musical talents.

"The concept wasn't premeditated." Nickel says. "When it was finally all done it was obvious what it was. The fans can expect high level lyricism and musicality, organic live hip hop sound. An album true to the classic hip hop sound, with a progressive take on it." - This Is 50

"Nickel and Dime OPS album release party – killing!"

by Anna Yatskevich

Best things in life hardly ever start before midnight. Nickel and Dime OPS album release party kicked off right around that time at The Cutting Room – a nice venue with a theatrical, subdued atmosphere. This dynamic group of insanely talented musicians brings together jazz and hip-hop, combining the two for an unforgettable performance. Yes, an unlikely fusion you might think, but if you love jazz and hip-hop, you are sure to love these guys.

The first time I had the pleasure to see them perform was at Smoke Jazz Super Club on the Upper West Side – my favorite jazz joint uptown. Nickel Dime and OPS just celebrated their third year residence anniversary at Smoke. Every Thursday they take the stage for the late night show and set the place on fire. More often than not their set is followed by a jam session, a treat for all the late night birds who crave more music in the wee hours.

The set started with a beautiful and haunting piano introduction by Willerm Delisfort and swiftly got really hot.

The raw energy of Nickel Killsmics, the band’s leader and songwriter and Victoria Cave, a.k.a. Madame Secretary, was contagious. The audience was clearly enjoying the music and half way into the set people were standing up and dancing rather than sipping their cocktails at the candlelit tables. They were clearly there for music and to show their support to all the amazing musicians who made this project happen.

The superb horn section with David Gibson on trombone, Jason Marshall on saxophone and Freddie Hendrix on trumpet was killing all night. I have seen David Gibson, who is also the musical director for the band, perform with other bands and his sound is always sharp and fierce, going straight to your heart. The soulful saxophone solos and the flawless trumpet filled the space and brought the show to an even higher level of awesomeness.

Noah Jackson on double bass and Andy Bianco on electric guitar were holding the stage on the other side and Joe Strasser was swinging on drums. The show ended with a standing ovation, buckets of corona sent to the cats by a loyal fan, and a jazz/hip-hop rendition of Jimmie Hendrix. After all it was his birthday!

Verdict? Phenomenal show. You can buy The Soulygamist on iTunes or get a hard copy and have it signed. And if you wonder what “Soulygamist” means, listen to “Shadow of Men”, it gives you an idea towards the end of the track: “The Soulygamist is a soul that does not believe in one soul mate only. They believe in many. This does not refer explicitly to sexual behavior. The soulygamist has an uncanny ability to stimulate an abundance of souls on a deep emotional level.” We all need more than one soulmate and it really does not have to be sexual, just human.

Watch Nickel and Dime OPS perform Shadow of Man at the Cutting Room. [Link]

If you like what you see and hear, make sure to come by Smoke one Thursday night to catch these cats live because nothing ever beats the experience of seeing and hearing a live performance.

Photo/video credits: Anna Yatskevich - Flowers In a Gun

"Smoke Jazz Club jazzing things up with Nickel and Dime Operation"

Mike Winnick thinks a Nickel and Dime Operation can change the face of music.

Judging from the crowd dancing in the aisles on Sunday night, he might be onto something.

Since September, Winnick, 33, aka MC Nickel and his band Nickel and Dime Operation, have been packing crowds into Smoke Jazz Club on the upper West Side for their Thursday night hip hop and jazz fusion show.

Winnick spits the hip-hop verse and Victoria Cave some amazing background vocals, while the band - Joe Strasser on drums, Nathan Peck on acoustic bass, guitarist Sam Petiti, Jared Astin on piano, David Gibson on trombone, Waldron Ricks on trumpet and saxophonist Jason Marshall - lay down driving jazz accompaniment.

The group is Winnick's brainchild. A Norwich, Conn., native who lived and recorded in Miami for several years, Winnick moved here in 2005 to pursue his music.

Like many aspiring musicians, he has a second job - four nights a week he's a bartender at Smoke.

"As far as I know, we are the only hip-hop band with a weekly residency at a traditional jazz club in the city," Winnick said. "This is a strictly jazz club. We're the only hip-hop band ever allowed on this stage.

"Some of the best jazz artists in the world play here. I never thought they would allow me on stage."

Credit that to Smoke co-owner Paul Stache.

"Mike gave me his first record, one he did with his band in Miami," Stauche said. "I primarily listen to jazz. Hip hop is not one of the first genres I would choose to listen to.

"But I really dug the record."

Stauche suggested Winnick use the club to record a live album, which turned out to be Winnick's second, 2010's "Tragedy and Comedy."

Last September, they used the Thursday night late spot for the album release party. The event proved so popular that Stauche told Winnick the weekly time slot was his.

"It was a bit of challenge in the beginning," Stauche said, as he worked the sound and lighting panels during Winnick's performance. "We're obviously known as a jazz venue and there are a lot of purists out there. All of a sudden you're doing jazz and hip hop together and folks are asking what the hell is going on with Smoke.

"But the music is real," he said. "It's live, it's organic. In a way, it is jazz. The tunes are not all written out, there is a lot improvisation going on on stage. I thought it was a kind of hip way to update the music a little bit. All music and jazz in particular, run the risk of becoming a museum piece. We all have to fight that.

"This is an exciting band and we're glad to have it here."

As was the standing-room-only crowd that bounced and swayed with Winnick's platter on cuts like "Virtual Reality" and "If You Ever Come Back," before rising and dancing in the aisles.

"This is fresh start for hip hop and jazz," said Erin (MC D) McDonald, a member of the audience. "This is hot."

Winnick said he's gotten nothing but love from musicians at the club.

"These guys have been embracing me," he said. "All of these guys have been so positive, way more than I expected."

Winnick's website is Smoke is at 2751 Broadway and the website is - The Daily News


Still working on that hot first release.



Nickel and Dime OPS is a jazz infused hip hop band based out of New York City. The group is lead by lyricist, Nickel Killsmics, and features female vocalist, Victoria Cave, alongside a septet of top jazz musicians playing hip hop beats. The combination of thought provoking lyrics and soulful grooves headed by their powerful 3 piece horn section has been getting crowd approval at many different venues around the city. Since 2010 the band has also been holding down a Thursday night residency at SMOKE Jazz Club.

Their sophomore indie release, The Soulygamist, is now on sale.

Nickel and Dime OPS has held down a weekly residency at SMOKE Jazz Club since September 2010, and have performed at The Blue Note, The Cutting Room, The Bitter End, Drom, Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar, Zinc, Sullivan Hall, Bowery Electric, Fontana's, Fat Baby, Bowery Poetry Club, and more...

Band Members