Brian Nova

Brian Nova

Musicians | Instrument: Guitar | Location: Seattle

Brian Nova is one of my favorite musicians to work with and listen to. He's got a beautiful, signature tone on his guitar. He swings like crazy. Great composer and arranger. He's my Man!.

—Kurt Elling (Grammy award winning Vocalist, composer, producer, arranger, educator)

Updated: April 28, 2023

Born: April 29, 1961

Vivify Music Recording Artist and Benedetto Guitar Artist, Brian Nova, is considered one of the top Jazz Guitarists/Vocalists in the nation, according to Jazz Improv Magazine. Joe Pass said of Nova: ‘I feel Brian is one of the finest Jazz Guitarists on the scene!’ He has the distinction of being the only guitarist who was mentored by, and toured with the two titans of Jazz guitar: Herb Ellis and Joe Pass. Rock Icon, Steve Miller, says: ‘I’ve met and known a lot of guitarists in my career, and ‘B’ is the best guitarist I’ve ever met.’ Nova performs, and records, as a solo artist with his Trio, Quartet, and his 18-piece Big Band. Brian is on Arturo Sandoval’s Grammy Award Winning CD, Dear Diz, which garnered a Grammy and 3 Latin Grammys in 2013 on Concord Records. Brian was also featured at the Iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem for Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th Birthday Celebration along with Liz Wright, Monica Mancini, Patti Austin, Andra Day, Cassandra Wilson, Ledisi and many others.

Nova performs throughout North America with extended bookings in major cities and as a Jazz Festival Artist. His annual European Tour includes engagements in Sicily, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, and Italy. His Pan-Pacific Tour includes China, Taiwan, and a sold out tour in Japan every December.

In addition to performing, Nova also encourages young Jazz musicians to further their own musical education and stage presence. From 1990 to 1996, he was the Director of Jazz and Guitar Studies for the Music Program at Seattle University. He continues to mentor the next generation of professional musicians through his master classes and clinics he conducts around the world.


Grammy® Award winner.


Benedetto Archtop Guitars, Acoustic Image, SeQuel Amps, Raezers Edge Speaker Cabinets, AAD Amps, Phil Jones Amps, Bose L1 Systems


“ I feel Brian is one of the finest jazz guitarists on the scene!” - Joe Pass, 1994

“Brian is one of my favorite duet partners…..he goes for the groove.” - Red Mitchell, 1996

“He is a true pleasure to play with. He’s my Man!” - Herb Ellis, 2000

Jazz Improv Review of Shadow of Your Smile. “Nova has amazing technique, which is obvious from the double-time technical explosion he launches into the first chorus of his solo on this first track. … one of the aspects of a player’s musicianship that is exposed is the ability to play a melody

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Primary Instrument




Willing to teach

Advanced only


Director of Jazz Studies and Guiitar Studies - Seattle University 1990-1996

Clinic/Workshop Information

Solo Guitar

Frank Sinatra
voice / vocals
Ray Brown
bass, acoustic
Nat King Cole
piano and vocals
Herb Ellis
Eddie Harris
saxophone, tenor
Barney Kessel
guitar, electric
Joe Pass



Vivify Music, Inc

The Upside of Lonely

From: The Upside Of Lonely
By Brian Nova