Nicholson was born in Edmonton, Alberta, where he studied classical piano as a child and developed an interest in jazz. After entering high school, he had started to teach himself to play in and after graduation began to study with Charlie Austin. After studying jazz piano at Grant MacEwan Community College, Nicholson began performing at the Edmonton City Jazz Festival and presenting concerts. Starting in 1999, he began study at the University of New Orleans. Seven years included studying with Ellis Marsalis Jr. and Harold Battiste and a tour with the University orchestra to Brazil.
Focused studies afforded Nicholson to book performances in many places including, Guadeloupe, Austria and Japan. He went on to earn his Masters degree and share the stage with some of the jazz world's luminaries, including saxophonists Sonny Fortune and Wes Anderson, drummers Herlin Riley and Jason Marsalis and trumpeters Jeremy Davenport and Wendell Brunious and Victor Goines. He has also performed for the Ambassador to the Vatican, and the Consul General of the Netherlands. In 1998, he was chosen to perform solo for trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.
- Mboya Nicholson - 2008
- Four Songs - 2016