Nadine Ford
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Nadine Ford

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band R&B Soul


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The best kept secret in music


"A Touching Tribute"

Berklee's honorary doctorate recipients are impressed with students' performances.

Gloria Estefan performs "Coming Out of the Dark" at the commencement concert.
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

The song wasn't on the commencement concert program. Neither was its performer. But student musicians were prepared and accompanied her without missing a beat.

Following an arrangement of her dance hit "Conga," Estefan joined Berklee musicians on stage at the Agganis Arena for an impromptu, unrehearsed performance of her song "Coming Out of the Dark" during the annual commencement concert.

The crowd erupted in applause and cheers as Estefan made her way to the stage. Before singing, Estefan acknowledged her husband, music producer Emilio Estefan, who wrote the song with her and Jon Secada.

"If anyone ever helped me come out of the dark, it was him," Estefan said. The song, from her 1991 Into the Light album, was released a year after a bus crash that nearly killed her.

The next day, during a press conference, Estefan said she hadn't expected to get up on stage. "It was a surprise for me," she said. "It was beautiful to be able to sit in with [the students], and feel their energy up there."

Every year, concertgoers and student performers wait in suspense to find out whether the honorees will join students on stage in the tradition of recipients such as Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, Chick Corea, Duke Ellington, Dianne Reeves, and Steven Tyler.

The Edge, true to his reputation as U2's understated, minimalist guitar player, chose to sit back and simply enjoy the show.

In keeping with the tradition of the commencement concert, students paid tribute to this year's honorary degree recipients—the Estefans, the Edge, and the late jazz pianist and composer Andrew Hill—with faculty and student arrangements of their work.

"I look forward to this concert each year because it provides us an opportunity to celebrate," Lawrence Simpson, senior vice president for academic affairs, said. "First, we're celebrating the success of our graduating students. And we're also celebrating the wonderful music of our honorary degree recipients."
Students perform U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)."
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Performances of Estefan's songs included dance hits "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" and "Get on Your Feet," Latin medley "Mi Tierra/Oye Mi Canto," and ballads "Don't Wanna Lose You" and "Here We Are."

Performances of songs produced by Emilio Estefan included "Let's Get Loud" (Jennifer Lopez), "Do You Believe in Us" (Jon Secada), and "Ojos Asi" (Shakira).

The concert featured a spectrum of U2 songs, including an acoustic "Van Diemen's Land," a track from Rattle and Hum that had featured the Edge on lead vocals; "Where the Streets Have No Name"; a pulsating, guitar-heavy "Vertigo"; and a student arrangement of "Electrical Storm," highlighted by digital recordings mixed on a laptop. Students also performed a gospel-infused arrangement of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," featuring a horn and string section.

In tribute to Hill, performances included "Black Fire," featuring Berklee alumnus Greg Osby on alto saxophone, and "Passing Ships," arranged by Contemporary Writing and Production Department professor Richard Evans, a former classmate of Hill's.
Nadine Ford performs Gloria Estefan's "Here We Are."

Students arranged three of the evening's performances: "Rhythm is Gonna Get You" arranged by Haim Mazar, "Electrical Storm" arranged by Anthony Baldino and Tara Sarmov, and "Don't Wanna Lose You" arranged by Asaf Sagiv.

Berklee commencement concerts feature arrangements that are unique versions of the honorees' work, while staying close to the artists' original concepts, the concert's executive producer, Rob Rose, noted. "We try not to do anything like the records. We try to do new versions so that the students are featured as who they are, and have a chance to showcase [their talent]."

The performances certainly made an impression on the honorees, who were touched and overwhelmed by the concert, they said at the press conference.

"The students that I've met have all been incredibly alive," the Edge said. "We watched them perform last night and they're an incredibly talented, gifted bunch."

"To see our songs—songs that I've written—being performed so beautifully and so masterfully by these students really moves you," Estefan said.

For the honorees, the performances even led them to see their work in a different light.

"It made me want to change the middle eight of 'Where the Streets Have No Name,'" the Edge said.

Estefan pointed out that after creating music in the studio, performing it is "like delivering your babies. There's such a thrill about that. It's nice that my babies are growing and standing the test of time," she said, referring to the students' performances. "For example, one girl [Nadine Ford] did 'Here We Are' and did this rendition that never in my wildest dreams when I wrote this would I have imagined it done that way. She just blew me away with it. It was a beautiful thing to see."

Andrew Hill would have been "so pleased" to hear his compositions performed as they were at the concert, noted his wife Joanne Robinson Hill, who accepted the honorary doctorate on her husband's behalf. "I was absolutely delighted. I think the students did an extraordinary job. One of the things I hope we can look forward to is continuing to hear his music performed in new ways. Andrew was never intent on keeping things locked into a strict formula. He was always rewriting, reorchestrating things."

Indeed, it was the unique interpretations of their work—arranged by faculty and students and performed by students and an alumnus—rather than a strict reading, that impressed the honorees.
Berklee's honorary doctorate recipients at a press conference. From left to right: Joanne Robinson Hill, on behalf of her late husband Andrew Hill; Emilio Estefan; Gloria Estefan; and the Edge.

- By Lesley Mahoney correspondent

"he Stars of Tomorrow Shine at Berklee's Singers Showcase at the Berklee Performance Center"

The Stars of Tomorrow Shine at Berklee's Singers Showcase Thursday, December 8, at the Berklee Performance Center

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Singers Showcase Performance
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Hear the rising stars of tomorrow on the same stage where Lalah Hathaway, Paula Cole, and Susan Tedeschi honed their skills. Experience the infectious energy of tomorrow's talent performing selections that appeal to pop, r&b, Latin, blues, jazz, and folk music lovers alike during this annual Singers Showcase. Berklee is pleased to welcome WGBH 89.7 FM, Boston's NPR arts and culture station, as the series media sponsor. Berklee also welcomes, for the first time, Borders Books and Music as the Supporting Sponsor of this series.

General admission tickets are $15 ($11.25 for seniors). There is a 10% discount on all tickets for WGBH members. For more information please call 617-747-2261 or visit The event will take place Thursday, December 8, at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA.

The fourth performance in the 2005-2006 Berklee concert series line up, which includes Meshell Ndegeocello, Patty Larkin, and The Yellowjackets, continues a 22 year tradition of bringing Berklee's finest emerging vocalists to the performance center stage. Over 100 student singers auditioned for the chance to perform as part of this hugely popular concert. From that rich pool of talent, eight lead vocalists were selected: Nadine Ford, Georgel Arevalo, Major "Choirboy" Johnson, Dawn Royston, Ryan Christopher Pinkston, Jennifer Hirsch, Rebecca Muir, and Tiwa Savage. Those chosen will bring to life the music of legendary artists such as Stevie Wonder, Celia Cruz, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, and more, backed by the college's best instrumentalists and background vocalists and more.

This is the evening to see Berklee's up-and-coming vocalists and instrumentalists at the college proven to be the training ground for renowned artists, such as Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks), Rachelle Ferrell, Melissa Etheridge, and Juan Luis Guerra. The concert will be rounded out with dancers, lights, and three-camera video with rear projection, making it a true showcase of contemporary craftsmanship and entertainment.

- 2010 Berklee College of Music

"Vineyard Vibes Electrifies with Three Shows"

An evening of Motown on Saturday night was like a time warp, bringing the packed audience at Outerland back to the 1950s and 1960s, when bands and artists like Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson Five were topping charts and forever changing the face - and soul - of American music.

The performance was the second night of the three-night music festival Vineyard Vibes, an annual tradition brought to the Island by the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the world's premier college for the study of contemporary music. Now in its sixth year, Vineyard Vibes has become a fixture and a tradition on the Island in its own right - and each year the festival is honed for fresh appeal.

This year was an outstanding three-day musical immersion that began with Afro-Cuban jazz on Friday night at the Outerland nightclub, moved into the Motown mode on Saturday night at Outerland, and concluded on Sunday with the Berklee College Reverence Gospel Ensemble at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown. Proceeds from this year's festival will go toward a special musical therapy program on the Vineyard this winter.


On Saturday evening it was a rare treat to hear Motown, with its pervasive appeal across age, race and gender, not blasted from a car radio tuned to the oldies station, but performed live by five sets of powerful lungs belonging to Berklee students. Even their clothing was nostalgic, with sparkling black gowns on some of the young women and a brown argyle sweater on the one male vocalist.

The musicians - led by Berklee professor Ken Zambello on bass - were also Berklee students, including a guitarist, two keyboardists, a drummer, a trombonist, a tenor saxophonist and a trumpeter.

The anticipated guest star of the evening was Jennifer Holliday, the Tony and Grammy award winning singer and performer, known for her role in the original Broadway run of Dreamgirls, which is based on the story of The Supremes.

Ms. Holliday stole the show on Saturday, but she did not steal the spotlight - the evening belonged without question to the as-yet-unknown stars. It was not hard to envision the singers as famous. Ablaze with charisma, the students were expressive and entertaining, even when singing back-up.

The students were all winners of the Singers Showcase competition within the past two years at Berklee. The competition filters out the top vocalists from about 100 applicants each semester - who are nearly all vocal majors at the college.

In addition to performing a couple of solos, Ms. Holliday related historical and background information between songs - like the origin of the group or song, or landmarks they represented, such as the Jackson Five becoming the first black teen idols. She elicited plenty of laughs with her impromptu style.


She also introduced the vocalists before their solos.

"Is this the correct thing on the card?" Ms. Holliday asked only half-joking about the note card describing Jessica Wolfe, a Berklee senior from Los Angeles. Ms. Holliday expressed shock that a young woman so talented vocally was majoring in music business.

The geographically diverse singers also included Kwatice Ezell from New Orleans, La., Nadine Ford from Copague, N.Y., Tiwa Savage from Nigeria and England, and Peyton Haley from Desoto, Tex.

"I don't know, Peyton, you might be too young for me to be your girl," Ms. Holliday told him teasingly after he performed My Girl by The Temptations.

Although most of the audience was seated in chairs that filled a large portion of the dance floor, dance fever broke a few times and dancers stormed the sliver of available dance floor in front of the stage.

Toward the end of the evening, Berklee president Roger H. Brown presented a plaque to Ms. Holliday, who is Berklee's first artist in residence.

Ms. Holliday received an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee in 2000, where for the previous two years she had been a keynote speaker at Berklee's annual depression awareness event.


"What you may not know is she recovered from a very, very difficult battle with clinical depression," Mr. Brown told the audience as he presented the plaque. "Not only is she an amazing performer, an amazing singer, but she's an amazing inspiration to me and many musicians."

The last song of the night - an encore performance - was I Heard It through the Grapevine, the 1968 hit sung by Marvin Gaye. With Ms. Holliday and Ms. Ford in the lead, the vocals hit a new level, and even the audience members in chairs got up to give the singers a standing ovation. - By RACHEL NAVA ROHR


Still working on that hot first release.



Her voice has been described as soulful, sultry, passionate, and smooth. Her Motown-influenced vocals, combined with songwriting sensibilities, compliment her unique musical blend.

Nadine explains her sound this way; "Music is a powerful tool in today’s world. In all my music I strive to express positive and meaningful life experiences that relate to today’s youth.

From her ballads to the club tracks you will be pleasantly surprised at the thought provoking lyrics and the creativity of the music. Nadine possesses musical rhythm and style with a youthful intensity that has been compared to artist such as Anita Baker, Phyllis Hyman and the legendary Angela Winbush.

Nadine Ford was born and raised in Long Island, New York, Growing up in the church, Nadine sang in the Children’s Church Choir. It wasn’t long until Nadine had her début performance, at the age of eight singing the gospel classic “His Eye Is On The Sparrow”. It was that experience that left a lasting impression on
Nadine and from that moment on Nadine continued to pursue her passion for singing.

Nadine Graduate from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, in Boston Massachusetts, She received a Bachelors Degree in Music Education/Voice Principal. While in school, she had the opportunity to travel to Manila, Philippines on a two-week tour as the lead vocalist of the funk/jazz fusion band “Satya”. She also sang with recording artist the original “Effie” from Dream Girls Jennifer Holiday at Martha’s Vineyard the Outlerland 2006 singing Gladys and the Pips rendition of “Grapevine”.

Nadine also performed with or provided background vocals for numerous artist including; Ledisi, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Gloria Estefan, Patrice Rushen, Melissa Etheridge, Donnie Mc Clurkin, and Keith Washington.

In the year of 2009 Nadine competed to be apart of P Diddy’s “Making His Band” Reality T.V. Show, thousands auditioned from the state of New York, but only 5 vocalists were chosen! Nadine was 1 out of the 5 vocalists chosen to go on in the competition. Making it all the way to Los Angles, California. Nadine made it to the television round, remaining in the competition until the final round of eliminations.

Nadine is currently performing with the legendary Producer/writer “Keshif” who has produced for artists such as Kenny G, George Benson, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Johnny Kemp, Melba Moore, Dionne Warwick, Stacy Lattisaw, Exposé, Freda Payne, Whitney Houston.

She is also working with Tito Jackson from the Jackson 5 as one of his” Boller Babes”, on the A& E T. V. Network “The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty” reality series depict the life of the brothers after Michael Jackson’s passing. Performing lead/background vocals from the Jackson 5 Greatest Hits.

Nadine is in the studio working on her debut single with “Day 26”producer Dirk Pate and award winning composer and arranger Tess Escoto. Not only will it display her potent singing and songwriting talents, but early reviews has it slated as one of the top Independent singles of 2010.

Her debut album will feature a blend of Soul, R&B with a Hip Hop vibe that sets her apart from the pack. . Nadine is a rarity in the music world today, a strong performer that can belt out a song live with or without a microphone. Everybody get ready -- the new songbird has taken flight.