Nir Felder

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Called “the next big jazz guitarist” by NPR and hailed by the New York Times as a “whiz kid,” Nir Felder is a new voice in jazz guitar. He spent his youth playing in rock bands while learning about jazz at the local record store, inspired by icons from John Coltrane to Jimi Hendrix. In 2006, he moved to New York City and quickly became one of the city’s most highly sought-after sidemen, performing and recording with an eclectic group of luminaries in jazz and other genres including Diana Krall, Erykah Badu, Brad Mehldau, John Mayer, and Ben Platt (for the Netflix special Live at Radio City Music Hall), among many others. He has toured throughout six continents and at venues including Radio City Music Hall and the Village Vanguard, and appeared on national television stations NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, and Fox in a variety of shows including Good Morning America, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and the U.S. Open, among others.

Seeking a more personal creative outlet, Felder first formed his own quartet in 2010, recording the critically acclaimed debut Golden Age (Sony/OKeh), called “lyrical and lofty” by the New York Times, “mesmerizing” by the Boston Globe, and “mindboggling” by All About Jazz. Six years after the release of Golden Age, Felder's latest project is a set of two trio recordings featuring bassist Matt Penman and drummer Jimmy Macbride. Using the studio as an instrument and the latest in sound design technology, the result is layered music that blends jazz improvisation with other genres in new ways and stretches the boundaries of what a jazz record is and can be. Felder is the 2021 winner of the DownBeat Critics Poll in the Rising Star Guitarist category.

  • Named Rising Star Guitarist in the 2021 DownBeat Critics Poll 
  • Winner of a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Terri Lyne Carrington's Money Jungle, 2013