Eleven-year-old New Hampshire Musician Nico Karatzas

A young man with an old soul

Nico Karatzas
Photo by David Mendelsohn

Nico is not exactly famous outside his school, where he and his band, Jam Patrol, play for fundraisers and socials. But he’s increasingly respected among the state’s community of serious musicians.

Imagine bluesman Robert Johnson spliced with guitar-bender Jimi Hendrix and reborn as an 11-year-old kid from NH. Now imagine every talented youngster who ever learned three chords and rubbed them together in an attempt to set the world on fire and you have a handle on Nico Karatzas.

He composes and sings his original songs as well as playing acoustic and electric guitar to music of all eras. He’s jammed with Truffle’s Dave Gerard, and his music teacher for years has been Bryan Killough, lead guitarist for legendary Seacoast band Groovechild, even getting to play a few numbers with them on their recent “comeback” tour, including a memorable set at the Granite State Music Festival last summer.

While representing music’s legacies, Nico has gained some fame by one of the more modern devices in the musician’s repertoire, online video. When he uploaded his version of a favorite song by Martin Sexton, the famous singer-songwriter and producer picked it to feature on his own website. Later, when Sexton came through NH on his tour, he recognized Nico in a group of fans and asked him to come onstage and perform that song — “Living the Life.”

It was a big moment for the little guy, “I was trembling,” he recalls, but he performed well (check out the video here).

What’s next? More writing, playing and singing. “I don’t know what my life would  be like without music,” says Nico. “Music is my life.”

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