HORNHEADS.MICHAEL B. NELSON has distinguished himself as the leader, composer, arranger, and trombonist for the internationally acclaimed, 5-piece a cappella jazz horn group, the
From 1991-2001, Nelson and the Hornheads recorded and toured worldwide with Prince, performing for over 2 million concert goers. Nelson recorded and arranged horns for 20 CDs with Prince and associated Paisley Park artists and co-wrote “Billy Jack Bitch” on Prince’s Grammy-nominated Gold Experience CD. Nelson continued arranging horns and producing orchestral sessions for Prince from 2011-2016. In 1996 Nelson received a McKnight Composers Fellowship through the American Composers Forum. From 2012-2017, Nelson joined Doc Severinsen as his lead trombonist, touring with his big band and performing with the Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and the Cincinnati Pops on his symphony shows.
Currently Nelson is writing, arranging, recording, and performing live with Vulfpeck and Fearless Flyers guitarist, Cory Wong.As a top call studio musician, he has appeared on over 200 CDs, with producer, composer, arranger, and performer credits on 4 Hornheads solo releases (EveryTHING bLOWs!, Fat Lip, 5 Heads Are Better Than 1, and Hornheads) and 10 Compass Records CDs for the Target retail chain. Nelson has performed and/or recorded with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Doc Severinsen, Vulfpeck, Lenny Kravitz, Fearless Flyers, The Jonas Brothers, Sammy Davis Jr., Mandy Moore, Jimmy Jam, Johnny Mathis, Larry Graham, Ben Sidran, Maceo Parker, and many others. He has also worked on many commercial projects for companies such as Target, BMW, Holiday Inn, Macys, ABC, Minnesota Twins, Best Buy, General Mills, Hormel, and Long John Silver’s.