Bruce has toured Canada as well as abroad and has been featured on numerous CBC National Radio shows and CDs - both as a leader and as a sideman. He has received Canada Council Grants for touring with his quartet and studying in New York City with great jazz drummers Victor Lewis and Terry Clarke. Some of the many bands and artists Bruce has worked with are Jeremy Hepner, Strange Weather, the Kerilie McDowall Band, the George McFetridge Trio, East Wind, Miles Black, Ron Johnston, Jay Thomas, Hugh Fraser and Polish jazz star Zbignev Namislowski.
Bruce Nielsen gained a reputation as a hard swinging drummer working with veteran players like Oliver Gannon and Linton Garner during the mid-80s. Bruce has also worked with George McFetridge, Miles Black, Hugh Fraser, and Polish jazz star Zbignev Namislowski.
He first made his mark as a bandleader and composer with a CD he released in 1992 called Between the Lines (Unity) that featured Ross Taggart, Bill Runge and Ken Lister. His second CD release Up for the Count came out last year and had critics swooning.
"My tunes tend towards the lyrical but with a strong emotional force" says Nielsen. The drummer cites the work of Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Billy Strayhorn and Wayne Shorter as some of his influences.
The Bruce Nielsen Band features some of the finest jazz talent in the land. Tenor saxophonist Mike Allen is a thrilling, highly creative and exciting player. He leads his own band and has worked with the luminaries like Kenny Wheeler, Sonny Greenwich, Don Thompson and Branford Marsalis. Bassist Steve Holy's resume includes stints with Nelson Symonds, Charles Ellison and Pete Magadini. He works regularly with Vancover-based players Miles Black, Oliver Gannon and Ron Johnston. Regina-born pianist Tilden Webb has performed with a wide range of artists that include Pat LaBarbera, David Murry, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, P.J. Perry, Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen.
Together, this group plays original music and standard repertoire in the classic, swinging jazz tradition. Engaging and captivating, they charm audiences with beautifully crafted compositions, hard driving swing and intense improvisation.