Nate Birkey

Nate Birkey

 New York City, New York, USA

"Nate Birkey, he of mysterious charisma, subtle gossamer trumpet lines and understated voice, hunches over the microphone and leans into his phrases, shutting out the world." Josef Woodard, Los Angeles Times


Nate lives in New York City and has been working with some of the area’s finest musicians. His current quintet includes pianist Jim Ridl; saxophonist Sal Giorgianni; drummer Marko Marcinko; and bassist Tony Marino. Nate recorded two albums in 2008, Almost Home and Christmas (Household Ink Records) – his 7th and 8th as a leader, and has a loyal and growing fan base across the United States, Canada and Europe.

Nate recently opened for famed Jazz chanteuse and pianist Diana Krall on her Quiet Nights tour. He is also one of many musicians featured in a new book by Cicily Janus titled The New Face of Jazz, published by Random House Inc.. Released in July 2010, it is an intimate look at today's living legends and the artists of tomorrow.
As a studio musician Nate has appeared on over sixty different recordings, and has performed with among others, pianists Roger Kellaway, Gerald Clayton, Mark Soskin, Doug Carn and Steve Rudolph; saxophonists Phil Woods and Dave Liebman, drummers Bill Goodwin, Ignacio Berroa, and Mike Clark; and bassists Francoise Moutin and David Piltch. Nate has made television appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America; has been invited to play at music festivals throughout Europe, Canada and the U.S..

Nate spent his early childhood in South Bend, Indiana before moving to Colorado at the age 10. He began studying piano at age six, but soon picked up the trumpet after discovering his father’s old cornet in the closet "I believe the instrument chose me - it felt more natural."
Nate attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied Jazz performance and composition and later went on to study classical trumpet and composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Nate has recently received awards from the Santa Barbara Arts Fund and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.

Critics have compared Nate Birkey's subtle vocal and trumpet approach to that of Chet Baker and Miles Davis respectively - a sound poised and assured, powerfully stark and spare, creating an atmosphere at once solitary and electric. He is one of the more intriguing “new”—yet mature and self-aware--voices on the current jazz scene, having a sound that is timeless and timely, emotionally true and going places.


Nate Birkey, "Christmas" - 2008
Nate Birkey, "Almost Home" - 2008
Nate Birkey Quintet, "Shortest Day" - 2004
Nate Birkey Quintet, "The Mennonite" - 2001
Nate Birkey Quintet, "Ballads" - 2001
Nate Birkey Quintet, "Indelibly You" - 1998
The Avant Gardeners, "Blue" - 1993
The Avant Gardeners. "Kickin' It" - 1991

Set List

I'll Be Seeing You
Tennessee Waltz
Indelibly You
Shortest Day
Always On My Mind
Abide With Me
The Fool in the Tree

Before She Goes Away
Northern Lights
Song Without Words
The Mennonite
Dreaming of Memphis
Hi Lili, Hi Lo
But Not For Me
I'll Be Around
My Ship
You Don't Know What Love Is
On To Guadalupe