Nathaniel Steele is a jazz vibraphone player and drummer based in London. Since his arrival on the scene, he has quickly gained a reputation as a talented musician to watch out for, described by Clark Tracey as one of the best vibes players this country has ever produced. Following in the style of Milt Jackson, Nat takes a two mallet approach to improvisation, focusing on melodic interpretation and a great swing feel.
He released his debut album Portrait of the MJQ on Trio Records (Proper) in 2017 with a launch at Ronnie Scott's, receiving critical acclaim in the national and jazz press. The band features Gabriel Latchin on piano, Dario di Lecce on bass and Steve Brown on drums. BBC Music Magazine selected it as jazz album of the month for Dec 17/Jan18, giving it 5 stars, while it received 4 stars in The Observer, JazzWise and JazzJournal magazines. It was the subject of a 30 minute feature on BBC Radio Belfast and has been played several times on BBC Radio 3.
Throughout 2018/19 the band toured the UK, and in 2020 they played a series of 18 concerts over 14 days funded by Arts Council England, featuring the US/Canadian tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart, performing music inspired by the classic '56 Prestige album Sonny Rollins with the Modern Jazz Quartet.
In 2015 Nat co-founded (with Allison Neale) the annual BopFest Jazz Festival, which runs every year in London as part of the larger EFG London Jazz Festival. Unusually it features an entirely straight-ahead and bebop oriented programme including musicians from London, around the UK, Europe and the States. The festival has grown to host 60-70 musicians performing over 7 days each year, and features workshops as well as concerts. Recent performers include Steve Fishwick, Mark Taylor, Grant Stewart, Pasquale Grasso, Luigi Grasso, Michael Weiss, Alex Garnett, Artie Zaitz, Steve Brown and others.