University of South Florida

School of Music

USF College of The Arts

LaRue Nickelson

Jazz Guitar

Phone: (813) 974-2311


LaRue Nickelson is a Jazz Guitarist and Composer from the Tampa Bay area who has taught at USF since 2000. He has had a varied and diverse music career with many different groups. He has played in New York, Italy, South Africa, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Montreux, and California as well as staying very busy doing festivals and clubs in the Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Orlando, and Sarasota, Florida areas.

Nickelson has performed with Rich Perry, Peter Erskine, Jeff Berlin, Ira Sullivan, Ingrid Jensen, Don Braden, Rufus Reid, Sheila Jordan, Hank Marr, David Leibman, Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge, Chick Corea, Conrad Herwig, Robbie Ameen, Giovanni Hildalgo, Gary Versace, Walt Weiskopf, Frank Foster, Mike Maineri, Adam Nusbaum, Steve Davis, Marcos Cavalcante, Patrick Bettison, Eric Darius, Mike MacArthur, Bobby Floyd, Paquito D'rivera. He has also recorded with Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge, The Michael Ross Quartet, Greenwich Blue, Shawn Ashby, Kristen Lomholt, Mark Gould, and Cory Christiansen.

In addition to recording and performing, LaRue is also a composer with more than 40 compositions to his credit, many of which have appeared on recordings by Greenwich Blue, The Michael Ross Quartet, and his own projects. His has released two solo projects, titled Dark Water and Labyrinthitis featuring his original compositions. His current band performs his many of his original compositions, and the members are Jeremy Powell on saxophone, Joe Porter on bass, and Ian Goodman on drums. Recently, he has completed recording projects with Tom Brantley, Jeremy Douglas, Chuck Owen's tribute to Michael Brecker, Tom Carabasi featuring the music of Patrick Bettison, and a duo album with Jeremy Powell. He also has written for two Mel Bay anthologies.

He resides in Tampa, FL with his beautiful wife, Joy, and his slightly less attractive cats, Kilgore, Trout, and Hodor.