Nick Kabat, Lead Keyboard Instructor
Nick Kabat has always held music close to his heart, ever since singing the title track to Phantom of the Opera throughout the house as a two-year-old (or so he is told). Both of his parents are music teachers. Needless to say, there were loads of instruments in the house, and Nick showed plenty of interest in experimenting with them all. A native of Morton Grove, Illinois, Nick completed a bachelor of music degree in jazz studies from DePaul University in 2011. He was fortunate to study under some wonderful musicians during his time at DePaul, including Cliff Colnot, Ron Perrillo, Bob Palmieri, and Bob Rummage. During his career, both during college and thereafter, he has had the pleasure of playing alongside notable jazz performers such as Wynton Marsalis, Phil Woods, Ira Sullivan, and Jeff Hamilton just to name a few. Although he completed a jazz degree, Nick has never been one to play only one style of music. He also has an extensive classical background and currently is a member of both the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra and the Evanston Symphony Orchestra.
Aside from drums and percussion Nick also has a multitude of experience as a pianist. From Mozart piano sonatas to solo lounge jazz sets, versatility has been an important thing for him on this instrument as well. He has done a steady amount of work as a musical rehearsal accompanist to countless musicals such as Urinetown, Avenue Q and Cabaret. He also has helped with high school solo recitals at various schools around Chicagoland, such as Loyola Academy, Niles West and Leyden township high schools. Accompanying choirs from the elementary to high school levels has been another steady source of work for him as well.
Nick has performed on all sorts of stages throughout Chicago, from the stage at Millennium Park to the Cultural Center, and from theater venues like stage 773 to bar venues such as the Hideout, the Whistler and Schubas. Currently, he plays in a number of bands including Future Hits, Atticus Lazenby Group, Fran, Deanna Devore, Jim and the Povolos, and Bluefront (alongside Altered Stage’s own Jason Steele!) Last summer, he put out an EP of original music with a band called Vilas.
With almost a decade of teaching experience, Nick has had students from the kindergarten age to senior citizens and everyone in between, and always stresses working on material that the student is really going to enjoy.