In an industry that likes to conveniently pigeonhole even its most innovative and adventurous artists, Nate Najar stands out with his all-encompassing embrace of the transcendent possibilities of jazz. Inspiring growing numbers of fans with his distinctive approach of playing acoustic classical guitar with right hand classical technique, the multi-faceted composer and performer scored a Top Ten Billboard Jazz single, recorded tribute projects to his idol Charlie Byrd and the music of Brazil; and has performed hundreds of trio dates throughout the US, Europe and Australia.
2010 saw Najar release Groove Me on Woodward Avenue Records. A collaboration with Tony Award winning vocalist Melba Moore, Groove Me reached into the top 10 of the Billboard Jazz chart. A St. Petersburg, Florida native who began playing guitar at age eight and considers Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery and Charlie Byrd his primary influences, Najar’s full length recordings on Candid Records – including 2012’s Blues For Night People: The Nate Najar Trio Remembers Charlie Byrd – earned him accolades from critics and influential jazz voices alike. Other recent recordings include 2014’s Aquarela Do Brasil and the swinging This is Nate Najar (2016). 2017 saw Nate’s return to Woodward Avenue Records with Christmas In December.
Under Paris Skies (2018), Nate’s most recent recording for Woodward Avenue Records, explores many of the great French melodies in jazz, classical, pop and film music. Featuring the music of Serge Gainsbourg, France Gall, Django Reinhardt, Gabriel Fauré and more, Under Paris Skies brings together an empathetic trio of Nate, Tommy Cecil on bass and Matt Home on drums. Vibraphonist Chuck Redd guests on two tracks.
Rick Anderson of All Music Guide called Najar “one of the most consistently interesting and stylish young guitarists on the jazz scene.” JazzTimes Magazine referred to his playing as “intimate and soulful.” Edward Blanco of All About Jazz wrote “This is Nate Najar will provide one with an exciting introduction to one of the finest classical guitarists in the business today on a set of music that swings lightly with a touch of class” and Becky Byrd, wife of the late guitarist Charlie Byrd, said, “There is no doubt that there is a piece of Charlie’s soul in Nate’s mind, heart and fingers. Get ready, world, here comes Nate Najar!