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Gary Powell Nash

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Gary Powell Nash


Gary Powell Nash (b. 2 August 1964, Flint, Mich.) is an American composer, educator, and saxophonist.

Nash studied music at Michigan State University in East Lansing and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music education. He then studied at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where he received his Master of Music degree in composition. He completed his studies again at Michigan State University in East Lansing and promoted to Ph.D., again in composition. Among his teachers were Bernard Rands, Jacob Druckman, Jere Hutcheson, Charles Ruggiero, Mark Sullivan, George Tsontakis and Ramon Zupko.

Gary Powell Nash is a composer who has been very much influenced by his education, as well as his environment, to compose music that contributes to, and helps advance, American music. His compositions range from chamber to orchestral works and are influenced by European music as well as traditional American genres such as jazz, blues, spirituals and ragtime. His objective is to find the most unique and exotic subject matter as a premise for a new creative work.

Dr. Nash’s music is bright, strongly rhythmic and shaped by his musical roots and traditions in the African-American community. He is able to abstract blues/gospel/jazz elements and infuse these morphs into a solid, crafted style based on Western classical disciplines with a keen understanding of instrumentation and a particularly wonderful sensitivity to all types of instruments. Audiences are affected by the intense, dramatic power of his style and the intellect behind the music, and Nash is wholeheartedly committed to the unifying power of music.

Dr. Nash is professor of music theory and technology at Fisk University and conductor for the Fisk University Jazz Ensemble. He has also been brass arranger, brass technician and musical consultant for Music City Legend Drum and Bugle Corps, Nashville, TN and SoCal Dream Drum and Bugle Corps, Fountain Valley, Calif.

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