Nick Isherwood Named the 23rd Jimmy Lyons Scholar to Berklee
Nick Isherwood, a jazz bassist from Medical Lake, Washington, has been named the 23rd recipient of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition award. Isherwood was presented with the award at the 2019 Monterey Jazz Festival, where he performed with faculty saxophonist George Garzone and the Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors. He is the first bassist ever chosen to receive the scholarship.
Previous recipients of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship include Billy Buss B.M. '09 (Billy Hart), Rushad Eggleston '03 (Crooked Still), Milton Fletcher B.M. '03 (Christian Scott), Jonathan Pinson B.M. '11 (Wayne Shorter), Dayna Stephens '01 (Kenny Barron), and James Williams '06 (Gary Burton).
"I feel incredibly grateful and honored to have been chosen for the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship,” said Isherwood. "The Global Jazz Ambassadors and George Garzone taught me so much about playing this music and exploring new sounds. It was especially beautiful, and kind of surreal, to play George’s music alongside him.”
Isherwood's introduction to music was through classical guitar, which he studied throughout middle and high school, gaining statewide recognition and awards. He later shifted his focus to the bass guitar, and then eventually to the upright bass. Some of his most influential early musical experiences occurred at Eastern Washington University’s summer jazz camp, where he was able to study with renowned jazz musicians and educators including Jenny Kellogg, Vern Sielert, Dru Heller, and Michael Waldrop. In 2016, he was selected as the top bassist out of six competing states to perform with the National Association for Music Education All-Northwest Jazz Band.
After high school, Isherwood received a scholarship to attend the University of Northern Colorado as a jazz studies major. There, he studied with nationally acclaimed bassists Erik Applegate and Nicholas Recuber, and performed with multiple jazz combos and big bands, including the UNC Lab Band II under the direction of drummer Jim White. He has played on multiple DownBeat Student Music Award–winning recordings, and was chosen as the bassist for the modern jazz septet Boundless, whose new album will be released by Fresh Sound Records in late 2019.