Nicky Barbato is a guitarist, bandleader, composer, and educator based in Queens, New York.
During high school, he studied at Lagond Music School. As a member of one of the school’s ultimate performance bands, Standing Room Only, he toured Montreal, Baltimore, and the Northeastern United States, and also played renowned New York City venues, including The Bitter End and the Knitting Factory.
From there, Barbato attended Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA), and graduated in 2013 with an undergraduate degree in guitar performance. Immediately after graduating, he attended New York University (New York, NY) for his master’s degree in music education. There, he submitted his master’s thesis The Music Classroom as a Safe Space: Strategies for Teaching Jazz Improvisation, and received an award for Outstanding Potential in the Field of Music Education. Over the years, Barbato has performed with Paul Shafer, Omar Hakim, Arthur Lipner, Richie Morales, Charlie Lagond, and Rusty Holloway, to name a few.
Nicky Barbato is an active working musician in the greater New York City area, and has been teaching at Lagond Music School in Elmsford, New York since 2010. He has recorded a solo guitar album called 1953,* and currently leads the Nicky Barbato Project.
The Nicky Barbato Project is a dynamic guitar-centric ground that combines surf guitar and pedal steel twang, 1960s film score soundscapes, jazz harmonies, and retro pop melodicism. The project features Barbato’s original instrumental compositions. Their debut album Every Day is a Bad Hair Day was released in March of 2019.
*1953 is an anti-solo jazz guitar record that draws influence from Chet Atkins, Jimi Hendrix, George Benson, and Jim Campilongo. It is comprised of five original arrangements of standards and pop hits. 1953 was released to vinyl and digital download in April of 2017.