Born in Lansing, MI., Nelson found the trombone at age 10. Earning a bachelors degree in Jazz Studies at Michigan State University allowed him to study and perform with some of today’s top jazz artists, including Rodney Whitaker, Etienne Charles, Diego Rivera, Michael Dease and Vincent Chandler. After spending a year after college producing and recording his second album as a leader, Nelson moved to Brooklyn, NY where he currently performs, composes, and teaches in a number of settings.
He leads multiple groups and is also a sought after section player, having performed with jazz orchestras backing the likes of John Hendricks, McCoy Tyner, Benny Golson, Jamie Cullum and Terence Blanchard. As a composer, Nelson has amassed a body of work that includes everything from jazz ensemble to contemporary pop. His versatility as a performer has led to a wide variety of performances and recordings with artists such as Christian McBride, Verve Pipe, Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band, Jamie Cullum, The Hudson Horns, Marianne Solivan, the Dan Pugach Nonet, Matt Wilson, Grupo Ayé, The George Gee Swing Orchestra, Fleur Seule, Valerie Ponomarev, Michael Dease Big Band, and many more.