Make Music Hartford


Nelson Bello: Faces of #MakeMusicHartford

June 17, 2019

Nelson Bello has certainly made the rounds. As an alumnus of both the original Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and a student of Jackie McLean, Nelson has made a career out of collaborating. In addition to being an active recording artist, he serves as both accompanist and bandleader in several groups in the regional Latin Jazz scene. His energy on and off the stage is contagious (as illustrated below), and his undying passion for arts advocacy and education proved to be invaluable in planning Make Music Hartford!

Catch Nelson on June 21 at 1:30pm at the Park Street Branch of the Hartford Public Library for one of our spotlight events – a drum circle, co-led with fellow percussionist and educator Jocelyn Pleasant! Did we mention music runs in the Bello family? Nelson’s son Nigel will be joining the drum circle as a featured performer.

What is your instrument(s)? If not a singer/musician, what is your connection to the arts?
I’m a percussionist and have been part of The Hartford Conservatory (which is no longer around), the Original Artist Collective under Jackie McLean, and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, when it was in front of Buckley High.

What do you do other than the arts – professionally? Hobbies?
I live off the music and teach in the evenings.

What drew you to MMH?
Amanda’s invitation is what drew me in, and I love what’s being done for the arts.

What drew you to Hartford and what is making you stay?
I’ve lived in Hartford all my life.

What is your favorite genre(s) of music?
Latin jazz, hip hop and anything with percussion.

Hopes/dreams/wishes for Hartford
My hopes and dreams for Hartford are simple. We need more grants and establishments that would support good music and arts. Us artists cannot work for low fees.


Photo credit for “The Faces of Make Music Hartford” photo series: Mike Marques Photo