Nicholas Morales is a cellist from California and music runs through his blood. In 2020 he moved to Hamburg Germany amidst the unknown of the pandemic to study instrumentalpädagogik at the Menschmusik Institut in Hamburg with the dream of becoming an orchestra musician and cello teacher. He started playing at the age of nine and throughout the years studied under the guidance of Glen Campbell, Sven Forsberg, and Benedikt Loos. In his youth, he found early inspiration from performances of Yo Yo ma, Anastasia Kobakina, and recordings from Pablo Casals. Currently, he is a member of the Landesjugendorchester Hamburg and has participated in orchestra Projekts such as Connect 2019 and Jungwaldorf Philharmonie in 2022.
His interest in music has extended to other genres beyond the classical music stage. He was exposed to jazz, metal, contemporary Latin American, and folk. Shortly after arriving in Hamburg he started collaborating with singer songwriter Soleika and formed a trio with instrumentalist Daniel Bornmann. His sense of music as an agent for storytelling led him to join the Thalia Theater for the Collective ‘All Das’ performing and co-composing with Pianist Thomas Yang de Pfeifer in the plays Ziegenkäse in Streichholzschachtel and eine Brise Flucht in Pistazienschalen.
He enjoys meeting other people and learning about their dreams. Like a magnet, Nicholas recognizes those of like mind who view art as the pathway to new possibilities. Such was the creation of the Tahini Band, a Jazz Arabic fusion group that continues to receive supportive reviews. This collaboration includes Oud player Hicham Elmadkouri from Morocco, pianist Thomas Yang de Pfeifer and percussionist Josua Morales. They play original music for each performance in an effort to match the theme and mood of the audience.
His exposure to African world music took off when he joined ‘Tanz du der Kultur’ and started working with Massa Dembele. This is a collaboration of musicians from Hamburg and invited guests under the guidance of Oded Kafri. This project has brought together incredible talent that crafts and then performs shows that dissolve language and culture barriers. This is the power of art and ’Tanz der Kultur‘ allows the participants and audience to share in the journey of discovery.
His current journey has brought him a long way from sunny California when he played weekends as a street vendor at the local outdoor market. He now finds refuge with artists like Vieux Farka Touré, Kruangbin, and Toumani Diabate. If you happen to pass under his apartment window you will also hear the sounds of Balafon, Kora, and Dundun.