27 May 1900, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 3 September 1973, Basle, Switzerland. After taking lessons from Lorenzo Tio, the young Nicholas, a nephew of Wooden Joe Nicholas, played the clarinet in bands led by several of his home towns leading musicians, who included Buddy Petit, King Oliver and Manuel Perez. Service in the US Navy during World War I interrupted his career, but after the war he returned to working in various New Orleans-based bands, some of which he led. Late in 1924 he joined Oliver in Chicago, leaving again in the autumn of 1926 to work in Shanghai, China. On the way back home he played in Cairo, Egypt, and Paris, France.
Back in the USA at the end of 1928 he joined Luis Russell for a five-year stint. He then played with Chick Webb, Sam Wooding, John Kirby, Louis Armstrong, Zutty Singleton and others, mostly in and around New York. In the early 40s he dropped out of music, but returned in mid-decade to...