MUSIC - Nate Birkey - Composer, trumpeter and vocalist


Nate studied music at Berklee in Boston, Seattle Pacific University and the University of California Santa Barbara. For a number of years Nate was a "jazz presence" in Southern California and was referred to as a quintessential "west coast jazz musician".

He performed with a number of groups before forming his own Quintet and moving to New York City. Over the years, he has contributed to and released a number of CDs.

His Quintet released "Indelibly You" in 1998, "Mennonite" in 2001, "Ballads" also in 2001 and "Shortest Day" in 2004. All of Nate's efforts have received glowing reviews for his songwriting, composition, style of play and his singing. 

In 2008 Nate released "Almost Home" and "CHRISTMAS" - "his first recordings made with his New York City quintet of saxophonist Sal Giorgianni, pianist Jim Ridl, bassist Tony Marino and drummer Marko Marcinko."  

Bob Agnew of the L.A. Jazz Scene writes, "Nate's subtle vocal and trumpet approach has often been compared to that of Chet Baker and Miles Davis respectively. A sound poised and assured, powerfully stark and spare, it creates an atmosphere at once solitary and electric."  

In 2014, Nate released "Just A Closer Walk," which is "a collection of hymns and spirituals live at St. Michael's Church in Isla Vista, California."

Nate released "Rome" in 2017 - his 10th as a leader. The album was recorded this past summer in Rome and features some of the areas finest musicians, including Roberto Tarenzi, Manuel Magrini, Alessandro Marzi, and Luca Bulgarelli.

Nate can be seen and heard performing in National and International venues worldwide.


Nate Birkey: Almost Home (2008)

"This laid-back, mostly cool jazz album with echoes of the West Coast 1950s sound also bespeaks a certain dramatic intensity. Further, it invokes a shade of country blues as it goes along. Nate Birkey's trumpet and vocal renditions of both his own songs and some standards are enjoyable to hear, partly because they are strongly reminiscent of Chet Baker (with muted resonances to Miles Davis) while representing Birkey's own persona and interpretations, which possess a sincerity that contrasts with Baker's existential sense of being "lost" in space."   ~ Victor L. Schermer - All About Jazz

Nate Birkey: Christmas (2008)

"This may be the most laid back Christmas album ever. The more typical holiday records bring to mind sleigh-bells, snowmen, parties, families, caroling, mistletoe, chestnuts on an open fire, and fond memories of past holidays. What comes to mind in connection with Nate Birkey: Christmas are dry martinis, The New Yorker magazine, twilights by the ocean, and being half-asleep as embers glow in the fireplace. Even though the songs are mostly regulars for Christmas and New Years, the style provides a pleasant contrast to the standard holiday fare."    ~ Victor L. Schermer - All About Jazz

Nate Birkey: Shortest Day (2004)

"Make way for Nate Birkey, a talented trumpeter/vocalist/composer who has been honing his talents in the Santa Barbara jazz scene and is now getting the national exposure he deserves. Birkey's latest release, Shortest Day , recorded live in 2004, showcases his considerable gifts and puts him front and center among jazz's most promising musicians."
   ~ Florence Wetzel - All About Jazz

Nate Birkey: The Mennonite and Ballads (2001)

"Based in Southern California, trumpeter Nate Birkey has been affiliated with both the mainstream and avant-garde scenes since he finished his studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The leader, who released both albums this year, grew up in Colorado, where he began studying piano at an early age and "fell in love with" his father's trumpet in the 5th grade. Birkey's cohesive band has been together for several years, and has learned to anticipate one another's actions. The Household Ink label was founded in 1987 to support the new music band Headless Household. Birkey has appeared on several of their albums. An eclectic group, the band crosses genres to include whatever they wish. Their creative sessions allow for growth in the jazz world while remaining true to its roots."   ~ Jim Santella - All About Jazz

"His Eye Is On the Sparrow" - Nate Birkey Quartet

"Windmills of Your Mind" by Nate Birkey Quartet