University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Don Nichols


Don NicholsDon Nichols is a percussionist, composer and educator dedicated to innovative and interdisciplinary performance. Nichols works in a variety of musical styles including contemporary solo percussion, jazz, chamber music, improvisation and electro-acoustic music. His vehicle for musical expression encompasses real-time electronics and a wide range of percussion instruments, which include pitched and un-pitched instruments, traditional and non-traditional drum sets, resonant metals and gongs, hand percussion and found objects. Nichols performs regularly as a soloist, with the group PMPD and in collaboration with dancemakers, visual artists, poets and musicians. As a collaborator with dance, Nichols has performed extensively throughout the US and abroad, including festivals in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Hampshire, Hungary, Romania, Argentina, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. He has created music for a variety of dancemakers, including the Lower Left Performance Collective, Andrew Harwood, Kim Epifano, Sandra Mathern, Allyson Green Dance, Peter Carpenter, Kacico Dance Company, Bk Soul and the Patricia Rincon Dance Collective. In 2000, Nichols was the first percussionist awarded a Fulbright to Sweden, and he recently received an Indiana Arts Commission Grant to record his debut CD “Station of Small Sounds”. He co-founded the dance/music/new media performance group PMPD in 2002, as well as the E3 Series for Improvisation Performance in 2010. Nichols earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from UC San Diego, and his former teachers include Steven Schick, Anders Åstrand and Michael Burritt. Prior to becoming the Dance Department’s Music Director, Nichols has held positions at Purdue University and Missouri State University.