Nigel gavin

Nigel Gavin
Born New York
Instruments composer, guitar, mandolin, glissentar, bass guitar
Years active 1974–present
Labels Ode Records
Associated acts Nairobi Trio
Jews Brothers
Robert Fripp & The League of Crafty Guitarists
Gitbox Rebellion
The Blue Bottom Stompers
Whirimako Black

Nigel Gavin is a New Zealand based musician and composer, best known as a guitar player. In addition to being a highly regarded solo artist and session musician, Nigel has been a member of bands such as popular New Zealand jazz quartett The Nairobi Trio, Robert Fripp's The League of Crafty Guitarists, klezmer "Jews Brothers", and Jonathan Besser's Bravura, as well as collaborator with artists such as folk singers Luke Hurley, Wayne Gillespie and Lorina Harding, Maori soul diva Whirimako Black, multi-instrumentalist Tom Ludvigson, jazz singer Caitlin Smith and harmonica maestro Brendan Power. He has a vast musical vocabulary which ranges from acoustic blues and folk to jazz, rock, fusion, surf pop, complex ambient grooves and various world music genres, in particular klezmer. Nigel's original jazz compositions cross boundaries of genre and combine musical traditions. He has toured extensively and performed at numerous music and art festivals in New Zealand, America, Australia and Europe. An active mentor to young artists, Nigel founded and mentored the New Zealand guitar collective concept bands Gitbox and Gitbox Rebellion. As a constant innovator, he is a regular contributor to the Auckland experimental music salon Vitamin S and has given multimedia performances with photographer Ralph Talmont's photographs.

Solo albums

Nigel Gavin has recorded three solo albums. Music for Flem volume II, Thrum in 2003 and Visitation in 2007.


Nigel started out as a bass player and is best known as a guitarist but should probably be described as a stringed instrument player. His signature instrument is a 7-string acoustic guitar, made by New Zealand luthier Laurie Williams. His favourite electric guitars are a Fender Telecaster and an Ibanez 7-string, both of which he uses with a variety of effects. He also plays a Yamaha 6-string steel string acoustic, acoustic and electric mandolins, a banjo and an 11-string Godin Glissentar - in effect a fretless electric oud. He is also a proficient piano player and percussionist. Nigel often employs live loops in both performance and recording, using a custom effects box with a large variety of foot pedals. He plays with both fingers and a pick but also has been known to strike, pick, strum and pluck an instrument's strings with a variety of implements, including a pipe cleaner.


Date Title Label Catalog Number Artist/Group
1998 Music For Flem
2003 Thrum
Ode Records thrum002
2007 Visitation
Ode Records thrum003
Songs from down the Line indie Richard Watt
Kura Huna Mai music Whirimako Black
1993 Living in Exile
Sony Music NZ Wayne Gillespie
2006 Live at the Bunker with Wayne Gillespie Wayward Music WM006 Wayne Gillespie and Nigel Gavin
The Nairobi Trio Live Manu Manu 1338 the Nairobi Trio
Through the Clouds manu manu 1432 nairobi trio
Shelf Life Zulu zcd001 Nairobi Trio
Live at the McDonald Winery Zulu zcd002 Nairobi trio
The Jew Brothers live at Gerhards rouge records the Jews Brothers
My Yiddish Swing rouge records The Jews Brothers
the Braeburn album rouge records the Jews Brothers
Too much Talent rouge records the Jews Brothers
Mr. Darwin's Dances atoll acd 200 Besser & Bravura
You Got Your Wish atoll acd 302 Bravura
Music for Peace vol. one unsung unsung 109 Bravura and Friends
Turn rattle rat do13 Bravura
New Orleans Gumbo Jazz-Live bbs bbs 102 The Blue Bottom Stompers
"But is it Folk?" bbs bbs 103 The Blue Bottom Stompers
Live on Waiheke Island Jazz festival bbs bbs 104 The Blue Bottom Stompers
Pesky Digits rattle rattle doo1 Gitbox Rebelliion
Touch Wood rattle / DGM rat doo5/ DGM 9511 Gitbox Rebelliion
Different Tracks rattle rat DOO3 Misc.
Parting Shots Ode CDODE 1290 Last Man Down
King of the Mercuries ODE CD Manu 1526 Ross Mullins and the Snaps
Tidemarks Red Shaver RS 101 Ross Mullins
1991 Show of Hands EG EEG 2102-2 Robert Fripp & the League of Crafty Guitarists
Intergalactic Boogie Express DGM DGM 9502 Robert Fripp & the League of Crafty Guitarists
2005 Clean Break global routes Lorina Harding
2007 East of the Sun global roots music CM001 Carolina Moon
precious legacy johnathan besser and co
Welcome to the Big Room jazzscore CD001 Trip to the Moon
2008 Ecstacy attar attar1003 Bravura
Kokomo, In The Well jayrem BRPCD009 Kokomo
2009 Famous Blue Raincoat EP wayward music na famous blue raincoat/Wayne Gillespie Rob Grosser
2009 Recent Works Ode manu 3004 Nigel Gavin and Richard Adams
A Job With The Circus Ode records dvdmanu 8005 Nigel Gavin
2010 Decadence Live Atoll ACD 409 Besser & Bravura


  • Trevor Reekie, Moments Like These: Nigel Gavin, NZ Musician, 2009. Vol: 14 No: 8
  • Andrew Healey, Nigel Gavin - One out of the Box, NZ Musician, 2007. Vol: 13 No: 4

External links

  • Nigel Gavin - Official Home Page
  • Nigel Gavin's "Thrum" in iTunes
  • Blog entry about the cover of Richard Adams's and Nigel Gavin's "Recent Works" by collaborator, photographer Ralph Talmont
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