about us

Fingerprints, the popular Dallas based sextet, is known as “one of the best kept music secrets in the South.” For many years standing room-only crowds have been lining up to hear the perfect blend of jazz and R&B by the Fingerprints musicians at venues and music festivals throughout the South and Southwest. With five accomplished CDs to date (Fingerprints, Reunion Live, Summertime Music, DNA and the newest release Dream Life), the distinguished sound of Fingerprints has been shaped through the years by its long-term members: Frederick Nichelson (bass), Claud Hardrick (saxophone, flute, vocals), Tim Jones (lead vocals, percussion), Kennan Wylie (drums, percussion), Jordache Grant (keyboards), and Robert Lacroix (guitar). Their long anticipated fifth CD, Dream Life, on the Pacific Coast Jazz label follows the enormous popularity of their last release, DNA, and proves this contemporary jazz band deserves greater national and international recognition. On Dream Life the band delivers exceptional grooves, emotional energy and some of the most soulful covers around. According to bassist and leader Frederick Nichelson, “Some of our work is comparable to groups like The Crusaders, Spyro Gyra and Pieces of a Dream, but we are careful to stay away from being over produced and seldom use midi-sequencing. We want to be known as a “real band” whose recognized sound of soul, blues and jazz have evolved through over twenty years of live performance.“ Along with electrifying performances on Dream Life, the CD features surprise guest artists like Bernard Wright, Mel Scott, Todd Parsnow, Shelley Carol, Larry Davis, John Gordon, and Richard Smith. The songs on Dream Life are appealing originals by band members or musical guests along with three cover tunes written by, jazz icon Herbie Hancock (Tell Me A Bedtime Story), Grammy award winning songwriter Diane Warren (For You I Will) and a classic jazz standard by the great Tadd Dameron (Lady Bird). However, what is most special about this CD is the fourth track, “I Am A Man” with inspiring vocals from Tim Jones. Memphis native Frederick Nichelson was honored to co-write the title song with Stax/Volt artist Deanie Parker for the documentary, I Am A Man ( Produced by the Memphis Tourism Foundation in partnership with Running Pony Productions and Old Bridge Media, the all-Memphis team also included Switch Creative and Electraphonic Recording. The documentary is the story of one man, Elmore Nickelberry, and his fight for dignity, justice, and the power of the human spirit. Surrounded by the soul music that helped make Memphis famous, Mr. Nickleberry tells an uplifting life story of endurance and character as he is joined by the men and women of the 1968 sanitation strike whose courageous stand helped change the world forever. Dr. Martin Luther King supported their plight by saying to the public that "our society must come to respect the sanitation worker."

The group, Fingerprints, was founded in 1986 by guitarist Roy Machado and bassist Frederick Nichelson while they were both music students at the prestigious University of North Texas. “We started the band in college,” said Nichelson, “and have stayed together since that time in collaborations and performances. Many of our other band mates and fellow students at the time went on to success with major artists like the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Harry Connick, Jr, Seal, Sheryl Crow and others. We felt it was important to create our own voice in the music community and remained dedicated to that idea. ”Nichelson, a native “Memphian”, grew up in the shadow of Stax Records legends and their contemporaries such as, The Memphis Horns, Kirk Whalum and the Bar-Kays. Drummer Kennan Wylie comes from Austin, Texas and earned his Master's degree in Music from the University of North Texas. When Kennan is not on stage performing with Fingerprints, he serves as an educator and his groups have numerous awards at the Percussive Arts Society International Conferences (P.A.S.I.C.). Fingerprints saxophonist Claud Hardrick, (a native of Wichita, Kansas), along with Canadian guitarist Ben Holt epitomize the musical philosophy of the group, which is to always strive for the contemporary cutting edge while maintaining respect for tradition. In addition to the “core group”, Fingerprints frequently features talented vocalists Tim Jones (singing on all the band's CD releases) and Ardina Lockhart.

Band members have recorded and toured in the past with highly respected artists such as Harry Connick, Jr., Marion Meadows, Ronnie Laws, Freddie Ravel, Tom Browne, Miles Jaye, Wayman Tisdale, Roy Machado, Toni Redd, Brad Leali, Ardina Lockhart, Shelley Carrol and Kyle Turner. Fingerprints 1991 self-titled CD sold over 10,000 copies and their second release in 1994, Summertime Music, surpassed that number reaching top twenty status in both Radio and Records and the Gavin Report. The opening track, “Whisper,” featuring long time friend and saxophonist Marion Meadows, continues to be a favorite of many radio stations in the USA and internationally. With their third release, Reunion Live, the band created a definitive statement in the evolution of their musical growth and popularity. Recorded at the world famous Caravan of Dreams club in Fort Worth, Texas, tracks can be heard on This is Texas Smooth Jazz CD sampler released in the fall of 1996. But it was the amazing popularity of Fingerprints 2001 CD release, DNA, which catapulted the group into increased exposure with rave reviews and thousands of loyal fans. One of the singles from DNA, “So In Love,” is featured on the international compilation, Cafe de Soul- Chapter 3. You can also hear the band on the (2012) Smooth Groove Collective Mixtape vol.1.

With a performance schedule of over 100 shows per year, Fingerprints still manages to find time to dedicate to their local community through donated concerts to civic and non-profit organizations. Past organizations have included Sarcoidosis Foundations of Texas, the Salvation Army and the Cub Scouts of America. One of their main emphases is to give back to their own communities by supporting young people and youth organizations through their music and performances. “It is an important “mission” for the group to be able to share our music for the benefit of all people and particularly we want to encourage young people to use music as a way to find positive expression in their lives,” commented Nichelson. “Dream Life is a testament to the good fortune and pleasure we have making a living at our music and so we want to inspire others to do the same. We demonstrate that enthusiasm every time we perform or record and hope that people feel the same joy we do.”

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Notable appearances and venues:

Addison July Jazz series

Art Porter Music Education Foundation

Artsnet Masterwork series (Tarrant County)

Taste of New Orleans (S.A.Z.A.)

Denton African American Scholarship Foundation

Denton Bluesfest

Euless Arbor Daze

Fort Worth Main Street Festival

Caprock Jazzfest- Lubbock 2016

Dallas Jazz festival

Delaney Vineyards- Grapevine, TX

Denton Black Film Festival 2018

Denton Jazzfest (multiple appearances)

Beale Street Music Festival

Balcones Heights Jazz Festival

Buttons Restaurant

Deloitte University (training retreat)

Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine- Plano, TX

Sandaga 813- Dallas

Hello Texas Event Planners

Mansfield Wine and Music Festival

MAAH- Detroit

Irving Texas Main Street Days

One World Theater- Austin, TX

Tyler Jazz Festival

Bishop College Alumni Reunion

Taste of Dallas (West End Marketplace)

South by Southwest

Ken-Ran Productions

Jazz in June (Norman, OK)

Bradley Fair Jazz series (Wichita, KS)

Spirit of Jazz festival- OKC

State Fair of Texas (multiple appearances)

Remmington Park- OKC

Houston International Festival

MCL PAC-Lewisville, TX

Pratt Place Barn- Fayetteville, AR

Little Rock Riverfest

Soulfest in Austin, TX

Lone Star Park- Grand Prairie, TX

Tablerock Amphitheater-Salado, TX

Texas Harley-Davidson (Bedford) The Largest in the State!

Valley Ridge Amphitheater-Cedar Hill, TX

Rabb House- Austin, TX

Denton County Friends of the Family

Valentin'a Event Center- Dallas, TX

Songlist highlights - updated Feb. 2016

Originals and Smooth Jazz covers:

Acoustic Soul-Fingerprints

All Blues-Miles Davis

Anything for you-Fingerprints

Anytime- B. Mcknight

Backyard Party-R. Kelly


Blue Bossa -Standard

Blue Jeans- Jeff Kashiwa

Chicago Song- David Sanborn

Cold Duck Time -Les McCann

Come Back to Me-Janet Jackson

Come Together- -Fingerprints

Corners- David Sanborn

December -Fingerprints


Down Home Blues-ZZ HILL

Dream Life -Fingerprints

Feel Like makin' love- Flack

Fly Away-Lenny Kravitz

For the Love of You- ISLEY BROS.

For You i will-Fingerprints


Full Moons Melody- FINGERPRINTS


God Bless The Child - STANDARD

Grand Central -Boney James

Groove Me-King Floyd

Happy- Pharell 

Have you met Miss Jones-Std

Hey Baby-50's 

I am a Man-Fingerprints

I can't help it- M. Jackson

I can't stop loving -KEM

I wanna know-Joe

In Effect -Marion Meadows

Is it A Crime -Sade

It might be You -R. Flack

Just a Little Bit-FINGERPRINTS

Killer Joe -STD

Killing me Softly-Flack

Lady Bird -Fingerprints

Let's Get it On -MARVIN GAYE

Let's Stay Together -Al Green

Lonesome Rhodes -Fingerprints

Love and Happiness -AL GREEN

Love Calls-Kem

Lovely Day- Bill Withers

Make Me a Memory-G. WASHINGTON


Maria Maria-Santana

Max Master -Fingerprints

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy -C. ADDERLY

Mind Games-Fingerprints

Mr. Magic -Grover

My Funny Valentine-STANDARD

Naima- Coltrane

NE Wind -Kirk Whalum

Never Enough -Fingerprints

Never give you up- Raphael Saddiq

New View- Jeff Kashiwa

Night in Tunisia -Dizzy/Bird

Nostalgia in Times Square- Mingus

Ordinary People- John Legend



Please Forgive Me-FINGERPRINTS

Put it where you want it- Crusaders

Rainbow of Love -Fingerprints

Satin Doll-Ellington

Save Your Love for Me -N. Wilson

Shady Shores -Fingerprints

Shaker Song- Spyra Gyro

Smooth Operator -Sade

So In Love-Fingerprints

So What - M. Davis

Song for Art Porter -Fingerprints

Song for my father - Horace Silver

Soon Enough -Fingerprints

Stay with you- John Legend

Steal Away -BLUES

Straight to the Point -A. PORTER

Summertime -STANDARD

Summertime Music -FINGERPRINTS

Sweetest Taboo -Sade

Take the A Train -Ellington

Tell me a bedtime story-Herbie Hancock

That's how strong my love is-Redding 

That's the way -Janet Jackson

The Way Love Goes -B. McKnight

Thrill Is Gone -B.B. KING

Time Will Tell -Fingerprints

Wake up Everybody- Harold Melvin & Blue Notes

We are One- Maze

What a wonderful world-Armstrong

What goes up- Maze

What were you thinking-Fingerprints

What You Won't Do -B. Caldwell

What's Going On -M. Gaye

When A Man Loves-M. Bolton

Where is the Love-R. Flack


Why would you stay-Kem

Winelight-Grover Washington, Jr.

World is A Ghetto- WAR

Velas -Quincy Jones

You Send Me-Percy Sledge

You're on my mind-Kem


Here is a list of our dance/party/covers:

Ain't no stopping us now- McFadden and Whitehead

All of me- John Legend

American Boy- Estelle

Ascension- Maxwell

Baby I love you- Aretha

Backyard Party- R. Kelly

Bad Mamma Jamma- Carl Carlton

Brick House- Commodores

Chain Gang- Sam Cooke

Chain of Fools- Aretha

Crazy- Knarles Barkley

Cupid Shuffle- Line dance

Days Like This- Van Morrison

Dock of the Bay- Otis Redding

Down Home Blues- ZZ Hill

Forget You- Cee Lo Green

Grazing in the grass- H. Masequela

Groove me- King Floyd

Having a party- Sam Cooke

Hey Pocky way- Neville Brothers

Knock on Wood- Eddie Floyd

Hey Baby- 50s

Hold on I'm coming- Sam and Dave

I'll take you there- Staple Singers

Joker- Steve Miller Band

Let it Whip- Dazz band

Let's stay together- Al Green

Like a Fool- Cee Lo Green

Love and Happiness- Al Green

Love never felt so good- M. Jackson

Mustang Sally- Mack Rice

My Girl- Temps

Outstanding- GAP band

Oye Como va- Santana

Respect- Aretha

September- EWF

Shout- Isley Brothers

Soul Man- Sam and Dave

Sweet Thing- Rufus and C. Khan

Tell me something good- Rufus

Tequila- 60s

The Way- Jill Scott

Treasure- Bruno Mars

The Twist- Chubby Checker

Uptown Funk- Bruno Mars

Walk- The Time

What you won't do- Bobby Caldwell

Frederick Nichelson - bassist, composer, producer

Frederick Nichelson /aka/Nick

Frederick Nichelson is a Dallas area musician/producer with over 20 years of professional experience. Nichelson hails from the rich music tradition of Memphis, TN. He is co-founder and leader of the jazz/soul group Fingerprints and its parent company Nichelson Entertainment. Nichelson has also served as manager for other artists including Shelley Carrol, Memphis Soul Live, and Kyle Turner. His South Memphis Music record label has over 20 releases and its artists perform over 500 shows per year. Recent projects include "I am A man" documentary, Fingerprints- Dream Life CD, Kyle Turner-Wrapped Tight CD, and releases by Mark Harper, Bobby Lavell, and Sebastian Whittaker. Nichelson Entertainment  is adept at all aspects of writing, producing, recording, replication and music marketing. He holds a BBA from the University of North Texas and holds positions on several industry advisory boards. This includes AFM Local 72-147 Executive Board (2015-present) and music director for Denton Black Film Festival (2015-present)

Other performance/production credits:

Ronnie Laws

Brad Leali

Martha Burks

Marion Meadows

Texas Blues Crew

Toni Redd

Tom Browne

Kyle Turner

Michael Ward

Bobbi Humphrey

Tom Braxton

Mark Harper Project

Miles Jaye

Freddie Ravel

Shelley Carrol

Eric and Josh Willis- Father to Son



As an artist, I most enjoy playing smooth jazz, soul, and singer-songwriter material. My biggest influences are Victor Bailey, James Taylor, EWF, Kirk Whalum, and the music of STAX records. I also boast an extensive library of over 5000 LPs, CDs, and music song and instruction books.

Personal gear includes:

Fender Amer Standard 4 st bass w/ EMGs (1993)

Fender Jazz bass 24 w/ Basslines p/u

Fender Jazz vintage 1978

Fender Jazz lined fretless

G&L MJ-4 Tribute Bass

Ken Smith BT6 Vintage

Modulus Quantum 5 bass

Roberts Custom Jazz Bass w/ DiMarzio p/u and Audere preamp 

Sire- Marcus Miller V7

Yamaha TRB 4 (tuned A-D-G-C)

Main live rig:

SWR SM400s amp

SWR Goliath III 410

Aphex 204 Big Bottom exciter

Source Audio Bass envelope filter

Boss ME-50B

Additional back up gear:

EBS Reidmar 250 head

Hartke 210 HD

Hartke TX600 head

SWR Goliath II 210

SWR Workingman 210

SWR Workingman 115

Behringer 112 combo

For writing and production, I use the following:

Presonus Studio One

Studiolive 1602 console

Mac Pro Tower

Garage Band

Logic Pro X

Spectrasonics Stylus RMX and Trillian

Akai MPC 2500 le

Yamaha Motif rack

Korg Triton le 61

Roland JV 1080

Alesis Micron

BBE Tmax bass preamp

Rhodes 73 suitcase

Wurlitzer EP (vintage black)

Tascam CD Bass trainer mkII