Nicholas Emmanuel Chiobi Buchanan made his surprise appearance three weeks early on April 12,1999 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was welcomed with utter delight by his parents, Silas Darryl Buchanan and Kelly Valentine Buchanan, his grandparents Silas and Pearlie Buchanan and Matthew and Louise Valentine. He was driven home from the hospital in a lambs fur lined car seat, carefully and slowly, as to not upset our precious cargo. Nicholas was soon joined by his sister Grace Valentine Akili Buchanan and just days before his fourth birthday, his brother Silas Elijah Nnamdi Buchanan.
Nick’s early years were spent in a Tudor house on a peaceful ravine in Forest Hills. He attended Horizon Montessori School in Cleveland Heights and The Cleveland Music School Settlement. It was during these times that a family friend asked to store their baby grand piano in our living room, an event that would prove to have life long significance.
Nick started kindergarten at Moreland Hills Elementary school in Pepper Pike, Ohio after we moved our family to the brown house at the end of the cul-de-sac. Nick attended Orange City Schools through eighth grade. During these years Nick studied and obtained his 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo, played baseball with the same team for 5 summers, and at the age of 9 began piano lessons on that “stored” piano that remains “stored” in our living room to this day. Thus began his early love of music and music theory. Nick moved on to the saxophone in middle school, immediately distinguishing himself and playing with a saxophone quartet to great acclaim. The quartet performed at Nighttown Jazz club, Paladar Latin Kitchen and at the Cleveland Playhouse among others.
Nick attended high school at Hawken School in Gates Mills, Ohio. In high school he expanded his musical repertoire. The Jazz band already had an outstanding saxophone player, but was in need of a bass player. In his freshman year, Nick taught himself to play the bass guitar and within months was ready to hold down the beat for the Hawken Jazz Players. He became so proficient with the electric bass that it didn’t take long to add the upright bass to his repertoire. While in high school Nick also explored acting, performing in many Hawken Players Society productions.
During and after high school Nick developed his love of music production, slowly building a music studio in the basement of that brown house at the end of the cul-de-sac. This began the constant stream of musical collaborators through the home, practicing for performances, collaborating to create beautiful music. Nicholas was a magnet for so much creativity and original music poured out of him. Nicholas was pursuing his degree in Music Production from Berklee College of Music but as with many things in his life, he was very much self-taught. While in school, he began moving his home studio from our basement to a full-fledged business enterprise, Dharma Sound Studios.
Nicholas was named with purpose. Emmanuel, meaning God with us. Chiobi, meaning Leader of the people. Nick lived up to his name in every way, with his unwavering compassion, openness and love for his fellow man, and the belief that universal peace is possible.
Nicholas is survived by his parents Kelly and Silas, sister Grace and brother Eli, his grandmother Louise, Great Unca Teddy, Uncles Kevin (Patty) and Robbin, Aunts Joan (Zach) and Fran (Rod), cousins Annaka, Courtney, Elisabeth, Leslie, Morgan, Makenna, Stephanie, and Zach, and many, many dear friends.
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