Born: December 30, 1981 Primary Instrument: Arranger
As long as I can remember I’ve been attracted to music with funk and soul. It started with Stevie and expanded quickly to Hip-Hop. Now living in heart of Harlem I don’t have to look far; its all around me. I am a big fan of all the talented artists that have something to say, and give back. They're the performers that head charities, build schools, buy books and make a positive change. That is the road less taken, but it is the primary force that drives me. Also.... around 18 I was introduced to tap dancing and the ole movie musical. I was floored and challenged by the caliber of performer; this is when I was introduced this incredible music...
“WHO is this new kid on the block?” I asked myself when I first listened to NATEKid. My immediate impression,” Very cute, got the goods for modeling, let's hear the musical ideas”. Then I listened, and I listened again. The ideas kept coming, there was more going on than just a mix of hip hop, jazz, and funk. I played selected tracks to friends. They loved the jazz standards being modernized, their 30+ year old party generation kids loved it, even the 12 month old granddaughter grooved the booty. It was refreshing to hear the minimal use of the beat-box and Pro- tools without all the dominant electronics & hip hop anger that gets verbalized in their lyrics. Those of us who have spent years in urban education teaching & training see this as a positive creative outlet as an antidote to racial discrimination, for the Afro-American and Aboriginal adolescent facing a life of poverty, drug use, incarceration and early deaths in custody. The arrival of Eminem and now NATEKid who lives in Harlem, New York, is no accident. It’s the direct evolution of black & white kids sharing a common urban cultural art form and then making it their own by sharing their influences in different ways. NATEKid's version of The Pink Panther, Let Yourself Go, Too Darn Hot, I'm Yours, Blue Skies, Slap That Bass, & Call Me Irresponsible (one of my fav's with a sexy R&B style),and the Piazolla Tango style of Cole Porter's I Get A Kick Out of You, would have had the old boy chasing Nate around the block!! This is pure musical innovation and would have had the original composers NOT turning in their graves BUT sitting up and jumping for joy that their music has contemporary relevance and is living on, in the music of genuine young innovators. NATEKid is keeping up a musical tradition, and connecting the dots by making the music meaningful to his generation. NATEKid has broken through, he's definitely here to make his mark!! Helen Simon,s Dip.Advanced Studies in Education (University of Keele, UK) University of Sydney Jazz Announcer/Producer/Reviewer Community Station Broadcaster
Since successful Caucasian hip-hop artists are as much an anomaly as white chocolate, comparisons between jaFunk front man NateKid and Eminem are inevitable. But, the color of their skin not withstanding, the rappers are as different as night and day. On his stellar debut, jaFunk, NateKid accentuates the positive, eschewing hate rhetoric in favor of feel-good rhymes that,despite their sensitivity and insight, do nothing to handicap the future pin-up's macho swagger. What's more, the up-and-comer is not content to be merely ghetto fabulous: He's a bona fide music lover - an aficionado of classic jazz, no less and wears his heart on his disc as well as his sleeve . Eight of the album's tracks combine NateKid's original wordplay with alternately reverent and inventive renderings of retro songs by the likes of Irving Berlin and Louis Prima. The result? Fabulous, period. On paper, it reads like an accident waiting to happen. Yet in your Walkman, it's a miraculous marriage of the urban and the urbane, an ultramodern, and refreshingly respectful, rejiggering of tunes that have bypassed whole generations. Sure, teenagers won't know the numbers on which NateKid and Co. are riffing. However, after hearing Harness Melodies, their slammin' revamp of I Got Rhythm, or the aural strutting of My Baby, their hep overhaul of Steppin' Out, no one, regardless of their age, is going to forget them. True, this ain't your grandma's Gershwin. Yet she'll tap her toe to it all the same. How could she resist? How could anybody? - Charlie Mason - Contributing editor at Time Out New York, TV Guide, Platinum and Album Network
...Hip Hop...jazz...pop...it's really what Duke Ellington meant when he said 'something's are beyond category!'... - Dick Golden- XM Satellite Radio, Program Director Ocean 104 FM
...NateKid's CD is more than just a mix of Hip Hop, Jazz, and Funk. It takes something more to blend these elements together and achieve a style that is greater than the sum of its parts... - Mike Cuozzo- UPN 9, Director of Gravity
The Harlem Renaissance forges a seductive partnership with Hip Hop on jaFunK's debut album. Lead vocalist NateKid, a musician based in Harlem, mixes lyrics about his life and passions with classic jazz melodies. The messages and taunt musical arrangements are uplifting. The band is surprisingly successful at blending two seemingly different worlds. NateKid captures the diverse spirit of modern urban life. At the same time the band is able to pump new energy into the horn sounds of New York city during the hey day of the Cotton Club. jaFunK's first effort is and adventurous hybrid where the influences of musical pioneers from John Coltrane to KRS-ONE find common ground. It's definitely worth a listen. - Dan Russo- WMUH, Allentown
Nate Lombardi proved that it's possible to mix jazz, pop.and hip-hop, with a little beat-box thrown in for good measure! Where do they come from!? Jim Caruso Birdland's Cast party
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