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united states
Nate Smith
Nate Smith
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: Dave Holland Quintet
  • Country: United States

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Nate's musical journey began at age eleven when, after watching his older brother play for years, he decided to seriously take up the drums. His earliest influences were rock and funk music, a diverse pool of artists like the Police, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Quincy Jones. The true breakthrough however, came when he heard the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Album of The Year at the age of sixteen.

After graduating high school in 1992, Nate decided to pursue his musical studies at James Madison University. In his third year, Nate's small group was chosen to play at the International Associiation of Jazz Educators conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It was there that he met the legendary jazz singer Betty Carter and was invited to be a part of her esteemed Jazz Ahead program which has produced a seminal who's who of jazz alumni that includes among others: Cyrus Chestnut, Jason Moran, Gregory Hutchinson, Andre Hayward and Jacky Terrason. Later that year, at the age of 20, Nate was on stage with Betty at the Blue Note club in New YorkCity. He was also featured with Carter on BET"s "Jazz Central" and CBS "Sunday Morning".

After college, Nate was offered a scholarship to pursue graduate studies as a part of Virginia Commonwealth University's "Carpenter Fellowship" program. It was there that he met legendary jazz bassist and composer Dave Holland. Over the next few years he occasionally performed with Dave, finally joining his quintet in September of 2003.

In addition to being a fine drummer, Nate is an accomplished composer, songwriter and producer. He has composed scores for several broadcast documentaries for both "The Discovery Channel" and "The Learning Channel".and has worked with such R&B and smooth jazz artists as Marcus Johnson, Moifah, Jareed Arosmana and Alyson Williams among many others. Nate's work can also be heard on the song "Heaven Can Wait" on the Michael Jackson CD "Invincible". He has recently formed a production company, Water Baby Music, Inc.

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