As a small child growing up in Texas, Nate’s grandfather taught him hymns, folk songs, country and Western swing songs, while his grandmother played records of classical orchestral music and big band swing.
Nate took to music early and then pursued a formal education including a Bachelors of Music Education from Texas Wesleyan University and a Masters in Jazz Education at Indiana University. He has worked as a journeyman musician since 1993 and currently also teaches music in the New York City public schools.
Nate has been influenced by a range of musical traditions, including jazz, swing, country, and world music. Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust” obsessed him for years, in particular a recording from 1962 with Paul Desmond (alto sax), Gerry Mulligan (bari sax), Joe Benjamin (bass), Mel Lewis (drums) that he learned, transcribed and obsessed over for years. Listening to the album "El Malo" by Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon set off a love affair with world music that has lasted decades.
Nate has had the opportunity to play with a wide range of world famous musicians including Martha and the Vandellas, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Orioles, The Beach Boys, and Blood Sweat & Tears, as well as many other “soon to be famous” Brooklyn-based acts.
Nate attributes these opportunities he has had to the music teachers he had in his childhood, which inspires him as a music educator. “I love to pass on the technical and philosophical skills that motivate artists and performers, because scores of generous cats did the same for me,” says Nate. “I like being part of the chain.”
He is gratified to have students who went on to get higher degrees in music from the Juilliard School, the New School, and the University of North Texas. Even more, he is excited every time a student is able to connect along the continuum of music and artistry to share their experiences with the world.
Nate is committed to setting down roots in Brooklyn and at BMS. “Brooklyn is constantly reimagining itself, and is fluid in terms of the backgrounds, races, and traditions that come together here,” says Nate. “It’s a big reason why BMS is such a cool hang. Sit in the lobby for 10 minutes and you will meet people from all over. You will stretch and grow, and that’s just a fraction of what your kids will experience!”