Nick Halley is a drummer/percussionist, keyboardist, composer, and conductor based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Born in New York City, he studied drumming and percussion with Jamey Haddad from an early age, majored in jazz and classical percussion at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and spent a year training and performing in Brazil prior to returning to New York City to attend The New School University’s jazz and contemporary music program.
As a drummer and world percussionist, Nick has performed and recorded internationally with a wide range of musicians including American musical icon James Taylor, Paul Halley, the late Oscar Castro-Neves, Glenn Patscha, Old Man Luedecke, Suzie LeBlanc, Chris Norman, David McGuinness & Revenge of the Folk Singers, Concerto Caledonia, and Viradouro Escola de Samba. Nick often performs with Dinuk Wijeratne in ensembles of musicians from around the world, including Kinan Azmeh, Nazih Borish, Joseph Petric, Roberto Occhipinti, and Sandeep Das. In 2008, Nick released his debut recording Barnum Hill, featuring Nick’s own compositions performed by Matt Brewer, Adam Niewood, and other young jazz stars, and produced and engineered by the late, great Tom Bates. Nick has taught workshops in percussion, music theory, and rhythm at Boxwood Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Interlochen Summer Festival, Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP), and in other venues around the world.
As an educator, Nick is passionate about making musical excellence accessible to people of all ages and diverse backgrounds, and about helping people to – quite literally – find their voice. Nick is the Founder and Artistic Director of Capella Regalis Choirs, a Canadian charity and performing arts organization offering a unique and completely free music education and professional-level performance training program to children and young adults in Nova Scotia. Nick is also the Assistant Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax, where he co-directs choral services and concerts and assists with pipe organ accompaniment. Nick founded and for 11 years directed The King’s Chorus, a choral society for members of the King’s and Dalhousie University communities in Halifax, where Nick instructed hundreds of university students and staff in the art of singing. Nick was also the Assistant Director of the University of King’s College Chapel Choir from 2008 to 2021, where he helped to build a training program for young choral scholars and co-directed a major annual concert series. In 2012, Nick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to Canada and Nova Scotia through the arts. For the 2013-14 season, Nick was the Host of CBC’s national radio program, Choral Concert.
Nick’s breadth of experience as a singer, choral conductor, and keyboardist as well as a drummer and percussionist makes him a uniquely versatile musician, equally at home with classical English church music as with traditional jazz, with Brazilian percussion as with North African and South Indian rhythms.