Born in 1968 in Brussels Belgium, …
Began singing and playing the piano and flute a very young age.
Started playing bass at 13, performed early on with high school friends in musicals organized by the drama department (several engagements yearly).
Started going out around 15 years old and listening to an amazing bassist from Rwanda named Mutsar, heard around that time François Garny & Michel Hatzigeorgiou in many clubs growing up. All 3 had a major impact on my musical development.
Probably the person who had the most importance as far as my musical developement was Una Balfe,an Irish singer based in Brussels, mother of 2 of my best friends. She was some kinda of a mentor for many of us.
After high school, moved to Hilversum/Amsterdam to attend the conservatory of music.
Graduated 5 years (‘94) later for both instruments with CUM LAUDE, the highest distinction.
Meanwhile, Nicolas gathered different prizes and awards in Belgium (Europe Jazz Contest 1993), Holland and Germany (Jazztage Leverkusen 1994), and toured around the world. In 1996 spent months in NY on a Dutch Government grant.
Played most of the major international festivals (Montreal, North Sea, Montreux, …)
About 15 tours in Japan.
Recorded/performed as a sideman with artists as:
Lee Konitz, Mal Waldron/Jeanne Lee quartet, Jesse Van Ruller, Toshiko Akioshi’s big band, Ben Monder, Mark Turner, Peter Bernstein, Jojo Mayer’s Nerve, Bob Brookmeyer/Rob Madna 4tet, Dave Liebman, Topaz, Benny Bailey, Yaron Herman, Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Nils Wogram/Simon Nabatov 4tet, Butch Morris, Brazilian Girls, Zap Mama, Garrett List, Tomasz Stanko, Itamar Borochov 4tet, Toots Thielemans/ Kenny Werner quartet, among others.
Featured on many soundtracks.
Worked on Broadway and for E entertainment for many seasons in New York with the Ben Waltzer trio on the Isaac Mizrahi show
Featured artist in Japan with the Walter Lang trio (best album in 2006 in Swing journal).
Featured on the first Brazilian Girls Verve recording (Grammy nominated).
Lived between 1999 and 2007 in New York where he was very active on the scene.
Currently teaching in Belgium (masters in Antwerpen conservatorium)
- Recorded live at the village vanguard in NYC with the Bill Carrothers trio.
- Played a role in major motion picture The Visitor, and wrote music for it.
- Wrote music for Love the hard way feat. Academy winner Adrian Brody
- Wrote music for Diamant 13 feat. Gerard Depardieu
- Soundtrack for C’était une histoire d’amour with Emilie Dequenne
Nicolas Thys is featured on over 50 cd’s … (Warner Bros, Fresh Sound New Talent…)