The drums are one of the most important instruments in a band. Especially in jazz where the drummer other than the pianist is front and center in keeping the complex beat. This exciting jazz drummer, Nate Smith can take something in 3 that modulates to 12/8 amazing complex beats that make you want to learn the drums.
Born in Chesapeake, Virginia this exciting drummer started playing by age 11 but it was not jazz he was playing but rather rock and funk music. He credits his father and brother for his love of music and the drums. His father would play R&B and Jazz records all the time growing up. It wasn't until age 16 that he became interested in jazz after listening to Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Album of the Year. Several years later while he performed at the International Jazz Education conference that he met the legendary, Betty Carter who invited him to play with her at the Blue Note Jazz club here in New York City.
He has performed with such artists as bassist, Dave Holland, saxophonist Chris Potter, Jose James, as well as rock singer, Brittany Howard and many more. As a drummer, you can end up going from project to project and not having time to discover yourself which happened to Nate Smith. He took time off to discover what he wanted to do musically and came up with his debut EP, Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere an album that was critically acclaimed for its mix of jazz, funk, soul, improv, and pop with a groove. Just listen to his song, Skip Step from that album featuring jazz singer, Michael Mayo, so funky and it grooves. He has traveled the world and has also recorded beats for the Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel. This talented drummer, composer, producer, bandleader released his latest album Kinfolk 2: See The Birds this past September 17th. It features amazing artists such as Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Regina Carter (jazz violinist) rapper, Kokayi, singer, Michael Mayo whom he collaborates with on several projects, and Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes). You can't categorize his music into any specific genre, it's just a nomadic journey in jazz and groove. Check out this phenomenal drummer/composer/producer and support independent music and musicians locally, nationally, and worldwide. Be on the lookout for upcoming shows. Happy listening!