Born: 1974 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Nate Wooley (b. 1974) grew up in a Finnish-American fishing village in Oregon. He has spent the rest of his life trying musically to find a way back to the peace and quiet of that time by whole-heartedly embracing the space between complete absorption in sound and relative absence of the same. He began playing trumpet professionally at age 13 with his father, and after studying he moved to Colorado where he studied more with Ron Miles, Art Lande, Fred Hess, and improvisation master Jack Wright. His tenure with Jack began to break Nate out of self-imposed molds and into the sound world that he has embraced as his own.
Nate currently resides in Jersey City, NJ and performs solo trumpet improvisations as well as with his trio Blue Collar with Steve Swell and Tatsuya Nakatani. He has also performed regularly with Anthony Braxton, Bhob Rainey, Alessandro Bosetti, Fritz Welch, Herb Robertson, Kevin Norton, Tony Malaby, Randy Peterson, Scott Rosenberg, Matt Moran, Chris Speed, Andrew D’Angelo, Tim Barnes, Okkyung Lee, Assif Tsahar, and other improvisation luminaries.
Nate has striven to blur the demarcations between tonality and texture, extreme sound and the protracted use of silence, nervous energy and an almost painful amount of patience. His trumpet playing is a obscene distillation of Booker Little, Leo Smith, Axel Dorner, and Bill Dixon. The scary part is how powerfully 'Nate' this distillation is. His solo shows have made me revisit all of my childhood fears while he has enough straight up jazz prowess to rival almost anybody in New York.
If you were to draw a graph of the dynamics of Nate Wooley's playing there would be no sudden spikes. Each peak and valley would be approached with a thoughtful curve. He plays with great timbral variety, but every sound is musical.