Born: August 31, 1962 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Current Nate lives in New York City and has been working with some of the area’s finest musicians. His current quintet includes pianist Jim Ridl; saxophonist Sal Giorgianni; drummer Marko Marcinko; and bassist Tony Marino. Nate recorded two albums in 2008 (Almost Home and Christmas) �� his 7th and 8th as a leader, and has a loyal and growing fan base across the United States, Canada and Europe.
As a studio musician Nate has appeared on over sixty different recordings, and has performed with among others, pianists Roger Kellaway, Gerald Clayton, Mark Soskin, Doug Carn and Steve Rudolph; saxophonists Phil Woods and Dave Liebman, drummers Bill Goodwin, Ignacio Berroa, and Mike Clark; and bassists Francoise Moutin and David Piltch. Nate recently opened for singer Diana Krall at the Santa Barbara Bowl; has made television appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America; has been invited to play at music festivals in Europe, Canada and the U.S., and has performed at such notable venues as Catalina’s in Hollywood; Birdland, Irving Plaza, 55 Bar, Kitano, Joe’s Pub and The Knitting Factory in New York City; Upstairs in Montreal; Yoshi’s in Oakland; Dazzle Jazz Club in Denver; Santa Barbara Bowl and SOhO in Santa Barbara; and Adagio Jazz Club in Savannah, GA.; as well as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Los Angeles’ Getty Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Past Nate spent his early childhood in South Bend, Indiana before moving to Colorado at the age 10. He began studying piano at age six, but soon picked up the trumpet after discovering his father’s old cornet in the closet I believe the instrument chose me - it felt more natural. Nate attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied Jazz performance and composition and later went on to study classical trumpet and composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Nate has recently received awards from the Santa Barbara Arts Fund and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.
�-� “This is where today's jazz should be. The tradition remains intact, while familiar elements from rock, pop, and world music serve to provide an avenue for growth.” ~ Jim Santello, All About Jazz
• “Too many jazz recordings today reflect attempts to squeeze the last drop of virtuosity and clever turns of phrase from the proud legacy of the idiom, mixing it with various flavors of classical and world music. This album is instead straightforwardly a man's expression of who he is, and that is the true essence of jazz. Eminently listenable, Almost Home is also a valid musical expression of the human heart.” ~ Victor Schermer, All About Jazz
�-� “Recent New York transplant Nate Birkey shifts easily from unabashed romanticism (“Bianca,” “Theme From Cinema Paradiso”) to blues (“Almost Home”) to sensitive Chet Baker-meets-Michael Franks singer mode (Cole Porter’s “All of You,” Willie Nelson’s “I’m Falling in Love Again,” Michel Legrand’s “Little Boy Lost” and his original bossa “Sing to Me”). He makes his most forceful statements, though, on originals like the 12/8 groover “The Promise” and the all-out swinger “Tuesdays on the Ridge.” ~ Bill Milkowski. Jazz Times
�-� Make way for Nate Birkey, a talented trumpeter / vocalist / composer who has been honing his talents in the Santa Barbara jazz scene and is now getting the national exposure he deserves. Birkey's latest release, Shortest Day, recorded live in 2004, showcases his considerable gifts and puts him front and center among jazz' most promising musicians. ~ Florence Wetzel, All About Jazz New York
�-� “The third and fourth albums by trumpeter/singer Nate Birkey and his excellent colleagues contrast greatly. The Mennonite, with its essentially Hard-Bop orientation, suggests the music once associated with the Blue Note studios. The pensive Ballads seems derived more from West Coast cool… Both Recordings feature creatively varied arrangements. The players are strong musicians, with Birkey himself being something of a cross between Miles Davis and Chet Baker.” ~ David Franklin, Cadence Magazine
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New York, NY
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