Nicky Barbato is a guitarist, bandleader, composer, and educator based in New York, NY. His latest album, the Nicky Barbato Project's Every Day is a Bad Hair Day (produced by Jon Irabagon) was recognized by The New York City Jazz Record as a "Best Debut of 2019" alongside releases from Larry Grenadier and Nick Dunston. The album was called “eclectic...hard driving NYC style guitar noir” and a “modern day essential for adventurous guitar fans” by Roots Music Report. The Vinyl Anachronist wrote "Nicky's vision cuts through surf rock, jazz, '70s prog rock, funk and rockabilly--and that's just in the first song and a half." Sea of Tranquity described Barbato's guitar playing as "really quite amazing."
The Nicky Barbato Project is a dynamic guitar-centric group 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 and is available on CD and digital outlets.
In April of 2017, Nicky Barbato released his debut album, 1953. 1953 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 is available on vinyl and on digital outlets.
As an active working musician in the New York City area, Barbato has performed with Jon Irabagon, Omar Hakim, Vinnie Sperrazza, Richie Morales, Peter Brendler, Bill O’Connell, Rusty Holloway, Arthur Lipner, Matt Clohesy, Jerad Lippi, Josh Dion, Shawn Pelton, Paul Shaffer, Andy Hess, Rebecca Haviland, Charlie Lagond, and more.
Barbato holds an undergraduate degree in guitar performance from Berklee College of Music, and graduate degree in music education from New York University. He has been teaching at Lagond Music School, a successful music conservatory program, since 2010.