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"Momma taught me
how to play a
little church piano,
to do good & help people."
CURTIS HAS PLAYED PIANO PROFESSIONALLY SINCE SEPTEMBER 1968. He was a freshman in college and desperately seeking a way to pay for college. The Shakey's Pizza Parlor was close to campus and he saw a note on the bulletin board - they were looking for a piano player. Previous to that day, Curtis had only played in church a couple of times.

"I knew about 10 songs, 9 of them were church songs, the other one was a bland version of 'Exodus.' None of these songs were going to get many people excited!"

Somehow, he made the audition, landed the job and got with Terry, the banjo player on a Tuesday night. He taught Curtis the 40 or so songs that they would need for Friday night's debut. They practiced Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then debuted on Friday night. They were playing 6 nights a week with Monday night off. That gig lasted 2½ years and put Curtis through the majority of college.

SINCE THEN, HE'S PLAYED IN 26 STATES, 3 foreign countries and a couple of cruise ships. The major stops along the way were Biloxi, MS., the Panamá Canal Zone, San Antonio and Austin, TX. Curtis has played solo piano up to a 9 piece jazz group in nice clubs and hotels and some filthy dives. He's also been in rock and roll bands, R&B bands, Dixieland Jazz bands and of course, CW bands.

While driving an ambulance in San Antonio, Curtis played with the Med Star Ambulance Band. He would deliver a patient, quickly change clothes and go play at a nursing home. Quickly change back, and get back in the ambulance and make the next round.

All during the Austin years, he held a managerial job and played the nursing homes during a "long lunch." Curtis played over 30 facilities in Austin, but still had the full time job to back him up.

"When I saw the unbridled passion and love on the faces of the residents, it really struck a chord. When I played out in the bars and clubs, the people really took it for granted. I never felt the appreciation from anyone like I do at the retirement/assisted living facilities."

Upon relocating to Houston, he took a leap of faith. Cheryl, his new wife, told him to follow his dream - the dream of having just one job. It didn't matter how much he made, he just wanted ONE job. He left the managerial position in Austin, moved to Houston and got on the phone. The first full month in Houston, January, 2001, he had 2 bookings. This past January, he had 40 bookings! Last year, he played 506 bookings from The Woodlands to Lake Jackson to Galveston, Texas City, League City, Friendswood, Sugar Land, Katy, all over Houston and even a few in Austin.

"If you've seen one of my gigs, you'll understand the passion that sustains me. The look of excitement on the resident's faces, the genuine feeling of appreciation for my being there. The unconditional love bestowed upon me is phenomenal. I regularly play 40+ gigs every month. I know or have known thousands of the sweetest people you'll ever meet".

"I shall have to do this until I can play no more, or until they don't want me to play anymore. I can only retire when my fingers won't move anymore. I'm just getting started, I'm where the Lord has wanted me all along and all the blessings we have we owe to Him".

"I only wanted one job....I got one ministry and it has a lifetime warranty!"

for booking information: call or email Curtis at 281-778-6891 or cnickelson@entouch.net