The Luke Brouillette Jazz Trio officially started in the Summer of 2017 when Leo Cole returned to his hometown of Alexandria after retiring from a teaching career in Tampa, Florida, in search of finding an outlet for playing jazz upright bass.
Guitarist, Luke Brouillette, and drummer, Sammy Nix, both of Natchitoches, Louisiana, had been playing jazz together since the fall of 1993 with a variety of bassists and other instrumentalists. With the addition of Leo Cole, the three musicians began to form a strong musical bond that created a wonderful blend of rhythm and sound.
The Luke Brouillette Jazz Trio is a group of talented players, all having devoted a lifetime to music. They have a large repertoire of jazz standards in the styles of sweet ballads, grooving swing, rhythmic Latin and driving bebop. From relaxed atmosphere or the exciting performance of jazz festivals and concert halls, they easily fit anywhere that jazz music is the standard.
ABOUT OUR MEMBERS
Luke Brouillette grew up in a musical home with his father and brothers who played guitar and sang. There were always guitars around the house to play. He began studying and performing music in a school orchestra program at the age of 10, and by 14, he was playing cello with the local university symphony orchestra. By 17, the young cellist began to get serious about playing guitar in rock, pop and blues bands. At age 20, he left for Boston to study music and guitar at Berklee College of Music. After graduating in1980, Luke pursued a music career by forming and playing in original rock bands in the Boston area. Returning home to Natchitoches in 1993, he began learning his way around playing jazz, by playing in some local jazz and variety groups, as well as the university jazz orchestra. In 1994, he was asked to join the NSU faculty as a guitar instructor where he continues to teach. Over the years, Brouillette has played in small and large jazz groups, performed in a variety of ensembles, including soloist with the university wind symphony, percussion ensemble, jazz orchestra and symphony orchestra, as well as a number of small and large theater productions. In addition to his teaching and performing with the Luke Brouillette Jazz Trio, he also composes and records commercial music in his home recording studio.
Leo Cole is a bassist and is the oldest of The Cole Brothers (his musical siblings). He started out playing in churches, and R&B and Jazz bands during his college years.
As a member of The Diamond Cole Trio, he was one of the first to perform jazz at the Arna Bontemps African American Museum. Since then, he has performed many years with his brothers for this event.
He has subbed as a bassist with the hit group, The Chi-lites, and opened for bands such as Confunction, Rolls Royce, Point Blank, Johnny Winter and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Additionally, he has also performed with the ZZ Hill’s Blues Band and also Thaddeus Richard of Paul McCartney and Wings and the TV series, Treme.
Leo has recorded two CDs with The B.B. Majors Blues Band which performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and has joined them for performance tours. He has also recorded two studio albums with his own group, Koko Rio.
While living in Florida he performed solo, in trios, and in the Latin band, Leo and Latin Fire. While in Florida, he recorded with Juma Sulton, percussionist with Jimi Hendrix, and other recording artists.
Cole holds an Art Education degree, math certifications and has served as a high school assistant principal.
Currently he performs with The Luke Brouillette Jazz Trio, a Natchitoches, La based jazz group, Bobby Rhodes’ Ministry of Jazz and his own band, Leo Cole and The Blues Rockets.
Sammy Nix has dedicated a lifetime to playing drums professionally in a wide variety of styles. His skills as a drummer have put him in high demand with everyone. His reputation for great playing has led him to be well known, not only to bandmates, but he has also won the respect of his drumming peers and enjoys an extensive network of drummer friends throughout the south. Sammy Nix’s strong passion for music has led to his induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Sammy got started learning to play at age 13 by copying the drummers from records of his favorite bands and soon joined his friends in dance groups playing the hit songs of the day.
In his college years, he minored in music, performing with the NSU Stage Band, as well as the symphony orchestra, and played professionally with the regionally popular group, Delta Queen. He also did a stint with country music’s Al Ferrier. Later, he worked with a traveling pop music group playing 6 nights a week touring around the U.S., including a yearlong stint in Las Vegas. In the 80’s, Nix became a member of The Harmon Drew Supergroup and still performs with that group, as well as with Steve Wells Music. Sammy has been called on to perform in several NSU theater productions.
Always looking to broaden his musical influences, Sammy has taken the time to study, periodically, with world famous jazz drummer and educator, John Vidagovich. He also shares his expertise by providing private instructions to students at his drum studio.
Joining forces with Luke Brouillette in 1993, they both have forged a friendship focused on learning and performing in the jazz idiom, a musical style in which self-expression and virtuosity are prevalent.
Knowledgeable and practiced in rock, pop, country and jazz, Sammy Nix is a devoted drummer and is has the talent and skill to cover almost any gig.