Current and recent news:
a) The following words of praise came my way from great pianst, singer & entertainer Eric Ekstrand, on 4/24/13, regarding my attendance at the memorial celebration of life for Arlette McCoy Budwig, held at Colombo's on 4/20: "I especially want to thank you for playing that afternoon. Your harmonic conceptions and swing were very impressive. Your performance helped to make the afternoon very enjoyable."
b) The Ken Sherman Quartet's new CD is now released & I have copies! It's a wonderful compilation of best-loved standards including Billie's Bounce, Easy to Love, I Should Care, I'll Remember April, Long Ago & Far Away, My Romance, Wave, and many more! I'm on Adamos Studios' (Fountain Valley) fabulous baby grand, with a vocal on I Should Care. Leader and gifted flutist/sax player Ken Sherman is joined by (besides myself) fine bassist Frank Schatz & talented drummer Joel Minamide.
C) There is fun music from James Gentry & The Tequila Sundance Band (pop/R&B cover & Latin jazz sextet) at a May, 2012 gig, on the band's site - www.jgtsb.com - I'm on keyboard, backing vocals, and one lead vocal! Hope you'll check it out. Our gig on Sat., July 14th eve. at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel was a success. Since then we've gigged at numerous other venues - we did quite a few performances in 2012. Due to time constraints, I'm no longer in the band; but it was fun while it lasted!...
d) A nice video clip is on YouTube, of the Gary Hogan Trio at the Zinc Cafe' in Laguna Beach, Friday, May 20, 2011 - Gary on bass AND trumpet, Shelley Gordon on drums, and myself (sub for their regular pianist) on keyboard with key bass when Gary played trumpet (I switched back & forth)! We were playing the beautiful standard ballad, "Don't Blame Me." Here's the link - please check it out!: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvmMHgfnGuc
...Here's a praiseful line by reviewer/writer Harvey Barkan, January, 2011, from his review of fine saxist/flute player Ted Carmely's "Joy of Jazz" Quintet's feature band performance at the Valley Jazz Club on Jan. 2, 2011. "Other band members were: ...Nina Beck, piano, with very nice vocal on old favorite "Poinciana" that makes me think she should sing more of these American Songbook standards..." Thank you, Harvey!! This review was published in the Jan. 2011 issue of the L.A. Jazz Scene, as well as the Jan. VJC Newsletter:
...And here's an article from CAMPUS TIMES, official newspaper of the Univ. of La Verne, "Inside Arts, Etc." section, from March 28, 2008:
Musicians Get "Hip" at the Kitty / by Victoria Allende, Staff Writer SEE ARTICLE WITH BANNER & COLOR PHOTOS: Adobe Acrobat PDF File
(Photo caption:) The crowd listened to the sounds at the Hip Kitty Jazz and Fondue Club in Claremont on March 20. The group composed of Nina Beck and the Andy Cowan trio included bass player Chris Ferrin and Scott Ickes on the drums. They will return to perform at the Hip Kitty on April 1.
(Article:) Andy Cowan and the Nina Beck Trio entertained the crowd at the Hip Kitty Jazz and Fondue Club in Claremont on March 20. Taking the stage from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. the band played for the busy café in the downtown area. The diners enjoyed the soothing sounds of the jazz band over drinks and fondue, which kept the audience in good spirits.
This was another successful night for the Hip Kitty as Cowan and the Nina Beck Trio gave a great jazz performance. I think they are really good, Chris Needham said. I think he sounded a lot like Frank Sinatra." Cowans smooth voice and great vibe kept the crowd entertained and relaxed as they enjoyed their meals. The night brought out a full moon and between songs Cowan was in good spirits as he continued to make references to the moon.
The new restaurant is known for their nightly jazz music and great fondue, bringing competition to other popular fondue restaurants. The Hip Kitty takes a different and more exciting approach. Every night a different band performs, keeping the location busy and full of positive energy.
The band played well together and made a great debut. However, not everyone was making their Hip Kitty debut that night. Beck, the pianist, is a familiar face around the café. Nancy Tessier, owner of the Hip Kitty, said that Beck plays there every Tuesday for piano night. It is usually just one person playing, Tessier said. She is good. Beck is so good in fact that Tessier said she takes requests from the crowd and can play almost anything.
Cowan, originally from Philadelphia but now residing in Santa Monica, has been singing at jazz clubs for about 20 years. However, Cowan is not just a jazz singer. He is also a writer who was affected during the writers strike. Cowan has written for popular sitcoms, like Seinfeld, and just got finished writing an article on Barack Obama. He also has made appearances on some older popular television shows. I sang on The Merv Griffin Show, Cowan said.
Cowan spoke about a performance he once did in which he was asked to sing songs that he thought Sinatra would have sung if he were to be a star during a different musical era. The comparisons of Cowan to Sinatra have been carried throughout the years giving Cowan a priceless compliment to his performances.
Yet, Cowan does more than deliver a great sound. He also writes and arranges his own music. While Cowan has made many great lifetime accomplishments, he still comes back to the jazz clubs. This was his first time playing at the Hip Kitty but he had heard good things about it from his friend, Beck. And Cowan had a great time performing there. This is a great place. Cowan said. Its very reciprocal. They give you energy and you give them energy back.
The Hip Kitty features different bands nearly every night! Visit Hip Kitty's web site with menu, calendar, etc., at www.hipkittyjazz.com.
Allende can be reached at email@example.com.
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TESTIMONIALS & REVIEWS:
(Re: Sat., 7/3/10 gig with Andy Cowan) "Nina - Great performance yesterday and great repertoire of songs. We were looking for the bass player and then realized you were playing the bass line on the keyboard. Bravo! Enjoyed the day and hope to hear you again soon." -Joanie Jay, fine singer/entertainer, performing for many years in L.A. & surrounding areas, and holds jazz parties in her home w/ notables Llew Matthews, Bruce Lett, etc. (Compliment received in July, 2010)
"You're such a great talent and people need to know about you. I always get comments about your playing, singing and flute playing." -Llew Matthews, renowned pianist, and famed singer Nancy Wilson's pianist for many years. (Compliment received in April, 2010)
"You guys were great. Your selections and style fit my taste perfectly." -Jerry, husband of client who hired my "All Key'd Up" quartet for her 60th birthday party. (Compliment received in Nov., '08)
"I like the way you play." -Dini Clark, legendary pianist/vocalist/ composer and mentor to some of the greatest vocalists from the 70's and on up to today. (Compliment, and gig offer, which unfortunately I had to turn down as I was unavailable, received in July, '08)
"Your playing makes me think of bubbles being blown and then floating through space - so pretty, light and airy. ...Thanks for... being so gracious with your talent. You're the best!" -Steve Sadd, noted jazz/blues/rock saxist, bassist, vocalist, bandleader, and a busy side man. (Compliment received in May, '07, at a jam session)
"I listened to our gig at Chris Walden's home the other day. You sounded really good, Nina. Regarding the (musical) 'shapes,' you're 'shapes'-ing up! On another note, your playing between our songs really added continuity." (About a June, '07 gig) -Andy Cowan, award-winning writer/producer/host and veteran of Seinfeld, Third Rock from the Sun, and the Merv Griffin Show as well as professional singer and entertainer (20+ years). A regular contributing writer to the L.A. Times and the Philadelphia Enquirer and steady collaborator with the Times' "Bizarro" series cartoonist, Andy is also a songwriter. He landed a finalist spot in the 2007 Unisong International Contest for his catchy country tune with a traditional feel, "Hitchin' on the Highway of Life"; the song will be featured during ending credits of an upcoming movie.
"Nina, your music was excellent at my birthday party fundraiser on October 5. I saw someone last evening at an event in Long Beach and the person mentioned the music and how much they enjoyed it. Thanks so much. You may use my name anytime as someone who likes your style." -Betty Karnette, California political figure (about my "All Key'd Up" duo with Tony Presti, drums; Oct., '06).
"Nina and I have worked together and I can tell you that the girl is really talented. She's an accomplished pianist, fine singer, and even plays a 'mean' flute. Catch her next Thursday at Bistro 400!" -Tom Margitan, noted saxist/flutist/vocalist whose many credits include Jack Jones, Anne Richards, Stan Kenton, Grover Washington, Jr., and many noted L.A.-based musicians: Llew Matthews, Mark Massey, Luther Hughes, Kendall Kay, Roy McCurdy, the late Andy Simpkins, , etc. Tom has toured the U.S., Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, and the Far East. (Compliments received in July, '06 - included in his e-mail about one of his upcoming Bistro 400 performances)
"Nina Beck, Nina Beck, Nina Beck - the ONLY white musician I know who can play with black people!!!..." -Cabrini Schneider, owner and founder of Cabrini's Jazz Alley, noted jazz club (alas, it closed in early 2006), that was frequented by such prominent artists as vocalist Sandra Booker, saxophonist Dale Fielder, guitarist Jacques Lesure, and bassist Ryan Cross. (Compliment received Jan., '06 - she told me, "Put it in your website!", so I did!)
"With so much jazz mistaking excess for invention and hyper-activity for dynamism, Nina Beck and her groups display genuine heart with no bells and whistles. Nina is a pianist/singer worthy of much more attention." -Roger Crane, Jazz writer for such publications as Jazz Improv, All About Jazz, & LA Jazz Scene (received Oct. 11, '05).
"You're a very good player, and you really know how to swing. I can't say that about every pianist; but you can definitely swing." -Marty Harris, veteran pianist and recording artist who was Anita O'Day's pianist and worked with Diana Ross and countless other notables. (Compliment received in Jan., '05)
"Nina Beck is a polished jazz pianist with absolute pitch. She's a solid performer who knows all the tunes and plays them superbly." -John Gilbert, aka "Johnny Jazz," a Staff Writer for Sony/ Columbia Records, Euro Club De Jazz, All About Jazz, & JazzReview.com Magazine for many years. Visit California Coast Jazz At: http://community-2.webtv.net/johnnyjazz/johnnyjazzsjazzpage. Also a former professional jazz drummer, John knows all the local jazz goings-on & is a well-qualified jazz critic. (Compliment received in Jan., '05)
"...Tell them (numerous pro vocalists who headline in L.A.'s major jazz venues) I thought you would dig getting together...see what they say! Good luck, you're playing great!" -Cathy Segal-Garcia, prominent jazz vocalist, recording artist, composer, educator, and organizer of countless regular vocal workshops and special musical events. Dedicated to furthering her craft and especially, the talents of others, Cathy's professional career has taken her all over the world, to sing with many of the world's all-time jazz greats including Kei Akagi, David Benoit, Shelly Berg, Billy Childs, Peter Erskine, Marc Johnson, Diana Krall, Don Menza, Sam Most, John Pisano, etc. Cathy wrote Visit Cathy at www.cathysegalgarcia.com. (Compliment received in Jan., '05)
"Nina...I was very happy with your performance and feel we got more than what I expected. I think you did a great job...your music was great...and very well done." -CathyLyn Rossi, re: an "All Key'd Up" trio performance for a high school reunion at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach. (Compliment received in Nov., '04)
It's nice to hear another talented female pianist. There are not that many of them out there, but you are one of them!...I really like your playing." -Jimmy Spencer, jazz and blues vocalist/performer extraordinaire, is a regular at The Smokehouse, Charlie O's, Spazio, Barone's, etc. He appears in Salt Lake City and other locales backed by the Karen Hernandez Trio featuring Jack LeCompte and Lou Shoch, and has many other notable credits. I subbed for Karen Hernandez in June, '05 on a duo gig with him at Colombo's in Eagle Rock; Karen has called me to sub on other occasions. (Compliment received in Sept., '04)
"Many thanks for all you and your group did to help make our anniversary party perfect...If anyone ever asks about a band I would highly recommend you." -Jan Hyman, re: an "All Key'd Up" quartet performance in Aug., '04 for her and her husband Ed's 50th wedding anniversary/renewal of vows celebration at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. (Compliment received in Aug., '04)
SHORT BIO: (Pared way down, finally. The long one is now at the bottom of the page - it's about time!)
Professional pianist and vocalist NINA BECK has played piano since the age of five. She attended the High School of Music & Art in New York City, and studied with the famed late John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet at City College of New York (CCNY) where she got her Bachelor of Arts in Music, Magna Cum Laude, in the late 1970's. Nina has performed American Songbook standards, jazz favorites, and popular "oldies" from the '50's through '80's around L.A. for over 25 years on piano and vocals, both solo and with bands of all sizes including her own "All Key'd Up" groups, in a wide variety of settings from major jazz venues, hotels and restaurants to private clubs and homes. She has studied with numerous artists of world renown including Don Friedman, Milcho Leviev, Terry Trotter (who was Natalie Cole's long-standing pianist and music director), and Paul Smith (Ella Fitzerald's pianist and music director for many years). Nina also took private songwriting lessons with the late Jack Segal, composer of the beloved song "When Sunny Gets Blue" and many other beautiful ballads; and has two published original songs.
Nina's credits include jazz and blues legendary vocalist Ernie Andrews (with the Dennis Kaye Band at Pasadena City College in '04), as well as such prominent artists as:
- Vocalists Ginger Berglund (starting in '07 and to present), Frances Coche' ('07), Andy Cowan (steadily, '04 to present), Gene Diamond (Spazio, '05), Evie Fiorani ('09, '10), Maria Jacobs and Tera Johnson (Money Tree, '05 and '06), Michelle Jaeger-Jones ('09 to present), Lauren Koval ('09), Joy Rushing ('06), Cathy Segal-Garcia (Jan. '05), Jimmy Spencer ('05), Jessica Taylor ('05), Perlene Thurston ('07), and Kym Foley (starting in '09). All these vocalists have stellar credentials - e.g., Ginger performs in major venues and records with acclaimed trombonist/ arranger/ singer/ bandleader Scott Whitfield; Andy's bio was presented above; Cathy, Evie, Maria, Jessica (who's with The Platters), Joy, Perlene, Kym, Gene Diamond, and Jimmy Spencer are all prominent artists.
- Guitarists Jerry Case, Joe Gaeta, George Gilliam, Doug MacDonald, Jacques Lesure, and Edwing (in my efforts to pare down this page, references to their credits and achievements, and those of the musicians that follow, were removed; many have web sites);
- Saxophonists/woodwind players Albert Alva, Carol Chaikin, Pat Chartrand, Bob Efford, Kurt Festinger, Dale Fielder, Dave Goldberg, Wyatt Haupt, Jacob Johnston, Tom Margitan, Rory Mazzela, Jonah Minton, Matt Otto, Mike Parlett, Jim Richardson, Kim Richmond, Dean Roubicek, John Setar, Ken Sherman, Mel Steinberg, Edmund Velasco, CeCe Worrall-Rubin, Mark Yacoubian, and the late Harold Bennett and Bernie Jones;
- Trumpeters Hershey Bell, Jack Coan, Jack Feierman, John Fick, Tony Guerrero, (Dr.) Woody James, Ashland Porter (young phenom out of New Orleans!), Barry Trop (aka Barry Anthony), Andrew Carney, and the late Ken Goldshine and Micky McMahon;
- Trombonists (Dr.) Mike Julian, of Valley College; Roger McCoy (also a fine trumpeter & singer); David Stout; Roy Wiegand; Hal Willis; and in particular, noted trombonist/ arranger/ bandleader/ composer/ singer/ recording artist Scott Whitfield - 10/07 and many times since, w/ Tracy Wells' Big Swing Band including New Year's Eve 2008;
- Bassists Leslie Baker, Barry Cogert, Tim Emmons, Mike Flick, Henry 'The Skipper' Franklin, Paul Gormley, Jotty Johnson, Donnell Lambert, Sherry Luchette, Bill Markus, Peter Marshall, Lester McFarland, Herb Mickman, Ernie Nunez, Frank Schatz, Lou Shoch, Richard Simon, Louis Spears, Geo Valle, Bill Von Ravensberg, John B. Williams, Wendell Williams, and the late Ira Westley;
- Drummers Keita Akutsu, Don Allen, Mike Clark, Joe Correro, Donald Dean, Frank De Vito, Chico Fernandez, Stephen Foster, Denise Fraser, Don Hooker, Clarence Johnston, Douglas Klug, Dean Koba, Ed La Fata, Denis LaPron, Jack LeCompte, Frank Marsico, Maria Martinez, Joel Minamide, Billy Paul, Ralph Penland, Michael Rosen, Evan Stone, Paul Tavenner, Johnny Vana, Bobby White, and the late Scott Ickes and Tim Hafer.
Also, Nina has subbed for &/or traded gigs with: Terry Cano, Alexandra Caselli, Fred Dean, Eric Ekstrand, Michelle Faber, the late Marty Harris, Lloyd Hebert, Karen Hernandez, Tom Owens, Joe Partise, Leslie Sharp, Richard Sherman, Dick Tash, and Urie Norris. Her flute playing has included sitting in with name artists Ray Pizzi, Jamie Findlay, Mark Massey, and Libbie Jo Snyder over the past 15 years, and she plays a number on flute every Sunday evening at her Casey's Tavern gig.
Last but not least!: Nina performed with Buddy Ebsen, the casting director's original choice for "The Wizard of Oz"'s Tin Man, circa 1989 at the Long Beach Yacht Club (this was during her first 2-year stint there).
(Some extra info about Nina -) "...Nearly 850 songs from memory in any key!" - that's what Nina plays. She specializes in Great American Songbook standards and show tunes, but also plays straight-ahead jazz, Dixieland, Latin and other ethnic music, popular country, rock 'n' roll, R&B, and easy listening including soft rock/pop, movie and TV themes. She provides piano accompaniment for other working singers, including proficient sight-reading and transposing. Nina is a member of Professional Musicians Local 47 (affil. Aug. '03). In recent years, Nina's piano playing and singing style have been likened to world-renowned artists Diana Krall, Kenny Barron, & Marian MacPartland. Influences include Sonny Clark, Bill Evans, Hank Jones, Gene Harris, Tommy Flanagan, Hampton Hawes, Wynton Kelly, and Andre Previn. Other favorites, in the crop of younger piano virtuosi, are Tamir Hendelman and Gerald Clayton (the latter accompanied Nina on a song at a great vocal workshop at noted vocalist Cathy Segal-Garcia's home, led by noted jazz & world music vocalist Gretchen Parlato, in Aug. '05).
A published songwriter and member of BMI, Nina has a catalog of well-crafted original songs in many genres including adult contemporary, country, blues, swing, jazz, retro Latin, R&B (ballads), and movie themes. Several are arranged for big band and have been performed. Her first published song, the ballad "No One Touches Me Like You Do," was released in July '98 by country recording artist Dainel of Michigan, on her debut CD, "No Doubt About It." It was released the following year in Austria on a compilation CD. Another, a country rock song signed by the same publisher, Betty Jane Music Publishing Co. (BMI) and entitled "Loving Me Up While You're Letting Me Down," was released in July '03 by the same artist, Dainel Jackson, on her second CD, "Better Things Than You," on the C.E.R. Country Records label. Nina's first published song, as above, was also re-released on this CD. Her increased credibility led to collaborations with two other BMI publishers, Miles Grayson of Miles Ahead Publishing, and Bert Swanson of Music in the Right Keys Publishing, on their original material as well as her own lyrics and music. Two country songs co-written with Bert Swanson and demo'd in late '03 were pitched to many Nashville artists and also submitted to "Song Domain" song pitching service in Mesa, Arizona, which selected one for its "Songbank" honor. Time constraints restrict the level of demo-ing and marketing efforts that can be made, however.
Still, in December '03, Nina received a Certificate of Achievement - top 10% of 4500 entries worldwide - for her country lyric entry "Driver's Seat," from the Unisong International Contest. The lyric has music, and demo-ing is planned; other songs are always in work. A collaboration in late '04 with noted pianist and composer Ben Di Tosti yielded a lively tune that was being honed for demo'in and pitching to country artists, but the collaboration didn't work out (oh, well). Nina submitted 25 new entries to the 2004 Unisong International Contest, and two entries, a jingle theme and a country ballad "spin song," were semi-finalists.
A 14-yr. collaboration with Joe Barile, noted drummer/ singer/ guitarist/ composer, has yielded 12 unique jazz songs to date (as of 10/08). Music for all is by Joe Barile; lyrics by Nina. Demos of five were finished in 2007, with the addition of a bass track on one tune by a prominent performing pro and jingle writer for movies and TV, Warren Giancaterino. The hope is to pitch these to individual artists, producers, record companies as time permits. The song "Divine Love" is now on four internet radio stations' playlists (the stations are affiliated with IAC Music online) - See 'blog' for more info and sites! In Aug. '08, Nina & Joe recorded vocal tracks on six of seven new songs, over instrumental tracks they had recorded in Spring '08. After some flute and organ solo tracks are laid down and mixes done, who knows?...But it'll take time.
Nina's plans for making her own full-length CD with six covers and nine originals, one of which was collaborated on by Miles Grayson, continue. She is "whittling away," little by little, at charts/arrangements - over 3/4 are done as of summer, '11. But it's a very slow process!
A Los Angeles resident since 1980, Nina is a high honors graduate of New York's' High School of Music and Art. Nina hold a BA, Magna Cum Laude in Music from CCNY, where she studied in the late 70's with noted jazz pianist and recording artist Don Friedman (www.donfriedman.net - check him out!), and very significantly, with the late John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet (Nina's bio by Bob Agnew, P.12, Oct. 2005 L.A. Jazz Scene, expounds). She has studied with world-renowned pianist Milcho Leviev in L.A., and with acclaimed jazz pianist/recording artist/ educator Terry Trotter in March '07. Nina studied songwriting privately with world-renowned late Jack Segal, songwriter who wrote "Scarlet Ribbons" & "My Funny Valentine," and took workshops with prominent singer/songwriter/recording artist Phil Swann, at the Songwriters Guild of America of which she is a regular member. A possessor of absolute pitch, Nina can identify all musical tones and chords in "real time," enabling her to play simultaneously with many songs she has never heard, transpose to any key easily, and write quick chord charts.
From April '05 to June '06, Nina was the pianist and backup singer in an all-girl 7-piece Dixieland act formed in '05, the "Belles of Bourbon Street" (Kati Roberts, leader/singer/banjo player). She wrote a fun song for the band, "Just Desserts," which was debuted in 2006 with Kati on lead vocals, and which subsequently got performed often. The Belles had a monthly Friday evening gig at Mr. B in Burbank through '06 that Nina facilitated; they are no longer at Mr. B, but perform at various events and parties. In March '06, thanks again to Nina's initial efforts, they were featured band at the renowned Valley Jazz Club monthly jam session event. Nina's husband came up with the band's name; but he never took credit. Due to differences in views and approaches, as well as time constraints, Nina parted ways with the Belles in June, '06; the last gig Nina did as a member was on 5/28/06 at Rico Coffee in La Verne (that venue closed in 2008, sadly!).
...Nina Beck's piano & vocal demo CD, available at her gigs, features six songs in a variety of styles and instrumentation, all recorded over the last 8 years (old recordings can still be good!):
1. and 2. are recordings with noted vocalist Tera Johnson, with prominent bassist Sherry Luchette;
3. is a live vocal by Nina (also on piano) with Kermit Welch, clarinet and Martin Rocca, bass, of "East of the Sun," that won Nina airtime on Fabulous 690 Radio's "Fabulous Finds" show;
4. and 5. are jazz originals sung by Nina and written and recorded with friend Joe Barile, drummer/singer/songwriter (one, a positive message song with a swing tempo; the other, a cheerful Bossa Nova which features Nina's flute work); and
6. is a duo with flutist Garrett King, performed live at 66 California.
If you'd like a CD copy, please contact Nina at (310) 698-2325 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, and a complete press kit can be included upon request, containing bio, credits and venues performed, resume, song lists, reviews/press clippings, and flyers. (Still not sure how a 'downloadable media kit' is created, although I've seen this on many other artists' sites - I might need help with that "puppy"!) A rate sheet is available for private engagements, but quotes are normally individual.
Thanks for reading OR skimming (hopefully, the latter!) -
Nina (YES, many folks say I'm verbose. Why are you not surprised?!)
NINA'S MUSIC 'BLOG' follows (so I can keep a 'diary'; but also for anyone who'd actually take a few minutes to peruse this, like my family!...):
10/9/12) My weekly paid rehearsal get-togethers with sax man Tom and trumpeter George, whose combined ages totalß apx. 155, resumed back in April after my layoff from my "day gig" of 25 years at a large aerospace firm. We have a great time just the 3 of us, working on standards and show tunes, and bluesfrom the likes of Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, as well as Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, to name a few. Both of them are improving steadily! George is a "riot" as he actually takes scat solo choruses at the age of 80!! It's amazing. And, he and I have a trio gig, with Pete Ritter on bass, in Feb., 2012 at the San Pedro Public Library on Gaffey. It will be more like music + lecture as we will be providing background info on each song we play. This kind of thing really keeps George going, so it's all good!...
(3/10/12) Finally - Andy Cowan and I have ordered business cards for our group, "Andy Cowan & The Nina Beck Trio"! They're from Vistaprint and are very snazzy. We'll receive them in about a week. Fun!
(5/31/11) There is a nice new video clip on YouTube, of the Gary Hogan Trio at the Zinc Cafe' in Laguna Beach, Friday, May 20, 2011 - Gary on bass AND trumpet, Shelley Gordon on drums, and myself (sub for their regular pianist) on keyboard with key bass when Gary played trumpet (I switched back & forth)! We were playing the beautiful standard ballad, "Don't Blame Me." Here is the link - please check it out!: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvmMHgfnGuc
(1/23/11) Go PACKERS!! Yaeee - NFC Champs!! They just beat the Bears, 21-14 - and, oh yes (as if you couldn't tell), I'm a football fan & have always loved those 'Packs'! (I know, I should be practicing.) Update - yaeee, they won the Super Bowl and brought the trophy home to Lambeau Field!!
(1/22/11) The get-togethers with Tom and George are on hiatus, but may resume sometime soon. Tom sadly lost his common-law wife of 20 years, in August, '10 - so he had to move. But he's now settled in a unit of his nice rental property in San Pedro. I visited him on 1/21/11! We plan to get our music sessions going once he sets up his new "music room," with keyboard, drums, etc.! It'll be nice to start up again.
(5/16/10) This marks about a year since I started teaching (bi-weekly) my trumpeter friend George, whom I met through my bari sax player friend Tom, whom I started teaching weekly at his lovely home in Palos Verdes in Jan., '09 - and it has been going well! We have a lot of fun, Sats. from 2 or 2:30 to 5 or so - a 'tradition' now!! Oh - as for the weight loss - didn't happen. However - it's partly muscle weight, as my clothes fit about the same, so I am trying to just maintain and stay healthy!
(4/18/10) Well - unrelated, but not really, because it pertains to appearance - after the one-year anniversary of my 45-lb. weight loss, in mid-Feb., I started celebrating, to the tune of a 4-lb. gain in about 6 weeks - whoa!! I often want to forget that I'm naturally heavy, and being 'svelte' takes a lot of extra work for me. I didn't "eat like a slim person." It was fun - but it had to come to an end for awhile. So - I started a "TMZ" (my own name = "Two Month Zap") Diet - the weight must be off by 6/12/10!! (Update - !
(4/11/09) I received two great critiques in the mail from the 2008 Great American Song Competition (see 4/2/09 info below) for my retro swing positive message song, "Keep Believing," co-written with Joe Barile, and for my original country Christmas lyric (title not disclosed!)!! The critiques stressed the strong overall writing as well as the uniqueness of both the swing tune and the Christmas lyric, which was very encouraging! Now that I have more accolades...granted that I receive permission from Christmas and holiday music publisher Justin Wilde (referred to below), I plan to also include the appropriate positive critique along with a copy of the award listing and the Christmas lyric sheet. This should give further validation to the lyric - and me, a better chance!...
(4/2/09) The 2008 Great American Song Competition gave me an Honor Award for my original humorous country lyric about Christmas!! Nice. (I need to keep the title private!) There is no monetary value, but the pride I feel is significant. My next step, as time permits, is to write for permission and then send a copy of the online award listing with a lyric sheet to Justin Wilde, Christmas and holiday music publisher whom I believe is still looking for that "next big hit song." Maybe he'll agree to line up a melody writer since I'm just not coming up with a melody for it other than a corny "stock" melody. The premise of the song is a good one, so...!?!?!!
(2/28/09) "Song of the Year" Contest chose me as a "Suggested Artist"! Nice. Tho' it's technically a "runner up" award, this "nod" states that Staff found this original music and its performers "impressive." It applies to THREE of the songs I wrote, performed & recorded with drummer/singer/guitarist/published songwriter Joe Barile - "Groovin' on Love, "Divine Love," and Keep Believing." The link to the results, is www.songoftheyear.com/winners/ru/12208/suggestedarts.html. Check it out!! Thx.
(2/27/09) At this point, I've gotten most of the weight off = ~45 lbs.! I'm going for 3 more - I have to keep trying to lose, or I start to gain back coveted pounds I battled off! Plus, I need more toning, especially in the midsection which for me is more than stubborn. But now that I'm a size 8, from size 16, people notice!! Low carbing is my way of life - it's GREAT - no more "carbage" (a buzz word I learned)!! I jog now!!
(11/27/08) Re: "Divine Love" original romantic Bossa Nova: Sometime in Fall '08, another IAC-affiliated station picked up the instrumental version! - I'll get that link. For more about this beautiful love song "a la" Marilyn & Alan Bergman, see 1/13/08.
(10/18/08) I have now managed to knock 31 lbs. off my husky frame - with a goal of 10 more!! Now, I can jump rope. What great exercise - and takes only 10 min.!! It is great to have a BMI (body mass index) of only 28 or so as compared to 34, before.
(9/28/08) Now, with a 27-lb. weight loss so far, I'm feeling even better - have to "hold on" and not quit now - the weight loss can taper as time goes on, but now I'm striving to stay "grounded" as I continue the new and improved eating plan even amidst a very busy schedule that includes day "gig" and night jobs. ALSO - on 9/17/08 I added two great credits: George Gilliam, guitarist; and Louis Spears, bassist! Both of these gentlemen are very big names so I was honored!!!...(8/30/08) Well - since mid-June, 2008, I've managed to get rid of 22 lbs. - never to return, I'm going to see to that - plus more, hopefully about 19, for 41 lbs. total. My determination - sheer strength of will, if you may - is what has enabled me to do this, against the "grain" of my body's tendency to be heavy. Of course it's not easy - particularly with a musician's schedule. For a few of my tips, e-mail me!!...
(8/1/08) Last evening, 7/31/08, I attended an interesting jazz music event sponsored by Instrumental Women that I learned of via noted saxist/flutist Carol Chaikin, at the Armory in Pasadena. It was a preliminary concert and short jam session ahead of a big performance in late August at the Ford Theatre (which is near the Hollywood Bowl) that will honor pianist extraordinaire Karen Hernandez. The band consisted of leader Carol on sax, Jane Getz on piano, Sherry Luchette on bass, and Suzanne Morrisette on drums - all stellar players. I hadn't seen Sherry for awhile and it was a surprise to run into her there!...I'm trying to see if I can get affiliated with this organ-ization in some way (01/09 update: did not happen). I had let the founder, LaQuetta Shamblee, know that I also learned of the group thru' prominent bassist/educator Nedra Wheeler, who heard me play (at Derrick's, in 7/08). I got there too late to sit in; but Carol had said she'd like to work with me sometime! Getting to be one of the performers for events held by this organization would be quite an accomplishment - no musician or vocalist I've met or worked with has ever mentioned or suggested it to me, so I'll try to carve my own path and see. (Update, as above - didn't happen.)
(5/8/08) Last Thursday, 5/1/08, after my Jax happy hour gig, I met terrific drummer Dick Weller, and we got to chat a bit. I hope to be able to hire him on a gig in the future. Turns out he lives in my area of town! I had stayed to have dinner and hear Jack Sheldon's great band, with all notables. Tonight after my happy hour gig (2nd time to sub for Marty Harris), I stayed again, and after chatting a bit with Dick and then dining while listening to a set, I got to meet great pianist Joe Bagg and gave him a card; who knows, maybe there'll be some new opportunities.
(4/12/08) Sadly, I just learned today that fine drummer and great person Tim Hafer passed away. After a long fight, he succumed to complications from lung disease. He'll be sorely missed by all who knew him, including me. The gigs I played with him in '06-'07 were fun. (5/8/08) I attended the memorial in Santa Monica, and it was very well-attended - he touched many folks' lives. I met his dad, renowned reed man Dick Hafer. Jennifer Leitham, Gina Saputo, and other notables were there, too.
(1/13/08) Two versions of the original romantic Bossa Nova, Divine Love, composed with Joe Barile (referred to above), are now on FOUR internet radio stations (three stations are playing the instrumental version, and one is playing the vocal version)!! After my husband posted them for me on a new profile on Independent Artists Company (IAC), www.iacmusic.com (thanks, IAC!), in Dec. '07, they were picked up very quickly: the vocal version by Ray's New Songs Station, www.iacmusic.com/stations/KIAC4341.htm; and the instrumental version by a European station, www.iacmusic.com/stations/KIAC4364.htm. Then in early Jan. '08, the instrumental version was also added to another internet radio station, www.iacmusic.com/stations/KIAC5126.htm! (Added on 11/27/08): Sometime in Fall '08, another IAC-affiliated station picked up the instrumental version - I'll get that link. Please check out any or all of these sites and listen - I know you will love Divine Love as we do.
(10/27/07) I got to work as a sub for Karen Hernandez, with a stellar singer named Perlene Thurston (duo). What an amazing voice! This was for a surprise birthday party in my neck of the woods. A fine time was had by all even though a few guests were quite late since the locale was not so easy to find for non-South Bay-ers!...
(10/10/07) A nice treat - on Mon., 10/8/07, with the terrific Tracy Wells Big Band at Alpine Village in Torrance, I got to meet and play with the very noted Scott Whitfield - super player and person! Scott sang duets with his partner, fine singer Ginger Berglund, using his great arrangements! A "repeat" of this was Jan., '08 and again was so enjoyable. (Addendum: I've been performing with this band since that date!)
(8/2/07) I gave a blood sample as part of an ongoing reserach study I've been a participant in for seven years (last time was actually 6 years ago, though!). This study is called "The Genetics of Perfect Pitch," and it is headed up by Dr. Peter Gregorson of North Shore University in Long Island. Tho' I don't have siblings, they still selected me to participate after I passed the test. How I learned of the study, I don't remember - but anyway, it is interesting, and I will get paid!...
(7/27/07) Jacob Johnston, whose trio plays every Fri. and Mon. at La Louisianne in Ladera Heights, invited me to play with him every other Friday on my regular days off from my daytime job as a secretary, if I'm available. Altho' I haven't always been able to do them, the ones I do are very enjoyable. (Sadly - Jacob passed in April, 2009.)
(6/2/07) I met and got acquainted with a talented and soulful jazz and blues singer, Frances Coche', today, referred by great drummer Tim Hafer. She had been working with excellent pianist Astrid Cowan, but Astrid had become less available due to other engagements. Frances, who lives locally, and I rehearsed several times in June and early July, and did a quartet gig that included Tim along with Ken Sherman and Mike Flick, on July 13th. (Added 12/07:) Later in July, Frances felt we were not a good "fit," and to my knowledge, she has worked with Astrid again as well as with guitarists and other pianists. I agreed that we didn't 'gel.'
(5/5/07) I gave my first jazz piano lesson in many years to a lady in the L.A. area who is already a pianist and music educator - she works with young children and introduces them to many of classics of the American Songbook. She was referred to me by fine sax man/flutist/bandleader Jacob Johnston, who felt I could help with enhancements for her accompanying style including left hand bass (keyboard bass), right hand chording, and the use of chord inversions. The first lesson was Fri., 5/4 and seemed to go quite well. She has put future lessons on hold, however.
(3/24/07) I took a GREAT lesson with Terry Trotter, noted pianist, composer and recording artist who toured with Natalie Cole for many years. He gave me some wonderful "tips of the trade" in the way of scales and chords - I'm excited about the things I have to work on that I feel will make me a better player!...
(3/3/07) I got word Friday, 3/2, that the Belles of Bourbon Street only had a few members available to perform on 3/18 for the Channel Cities Jazz Club, a gig that was booked by me on behalf of the band, back in Fall, 2006! They had six months to let me know it might not work out, and I'd have been able to prevent the booker, Dawn, from listing the Belles in her newsletter and enable her not to be rushed if she had to get another group. I somehow ignored the "writing on the wall" re: differing communication styles, and thought I'd get word well in advance regarding conflicts, since I informed all band members that a newsletter would get finalized in late February. But I didn't get the communication in time. Believing I could book a band I'm no longer with and have it work out was a "pipe dream" - but I was trying to think positively. Instead, I was put in what I thought was the awkward position of having to give the booker an 11th-hour piece of news. I thought I was the one convincing the two available Belles to still come and perform with myself and the Dixieland jammers. I wasn't!...The Belles' leader, Kati Roberts, was in contact with booker/ organizer Dawn Russom, as well as with Valley Jazz Club host, her friend Ed Stauss, all along - and used her decision to come play, to her full advantage. She arranged to meet with Ed right in front of me to discuss a great April, '07 gig he had given the Belles behind my back - and which was also listed in the Newsletter!! Dawn, who actually expressed disappointment to me over the Belles behavior, had helped them with everything! Had I known this, I'd have let them bail out. No, they had the "last laugh" - I couldn't believe what a "coup" they pulled, when I was the one who originally got them on the giggin' "map"! I'll always wonder - WHAT if I had let them cancel? Would both listings still have appeared?...
(2/19/07) I just got a nice e-mail saying that after review by Staff, my country/adult contemporary crossover song "A Heart'll Tell," composed with publisher Bert Swanson, was nominated into song pitching service "Song Domain"'s "Song Bank" for April, 2007. Please see news for 2/3/07 for how Song Bank works.
(2/17/07) My friend, cellist Harriet Katz, whom I met via Local 47, is working on the score two of my original movie theme works, "To a Child," and "How Heaven Shall Be," as one piece linked together, for an approximately 30-pce. orchestra. Once completed, we'll have it tried by an Orange County community orchestra led by my friend and co-worker, Robert Sudakow, who is the orchestra's leader and cellist. My goal is its eventual performance! With Harriet's help, I believe this can be achieved. And great news for Harriet - her first original work for orchestra, a Jewish suite, was chosen for publication by a NYC firm which is the largest publisher of Jewish works in the country. Hopefully that success could rub off for my composition(s).
(2/3/07) In late Jan. 2007, I got great news that "Groovin' on Love," version w/ my vocal, one of the five 'future standard' songs composed & recorded with Joe Barile (BMI), was nominated into song pitching service "Song Domain"'s "Song Bank" for March '07. This means it will get continually reviewed by their Staff against suitable opportunities for recording and/or placement in movies or other settings. In this way, it has a better chance. The Nashville Songwriters Guild of America office plans to put an article about this in its March Newsletter.
(9/30/06) The five "future standard" original songs co-written with Joe Barile (BMI), singer, drummer, guitarist and fine composer, over the course of the last eight (whew!) years, are produced and mixed (2nd mix a "charm"!); I'm very pleased (we've written more, meanwhile, to be recorded soon). Joe's son, Joe Barile Jr., provided the recording studio and the engineering, at Angel's Gate, San Pedro. The renditions include a male and female vocal version of each, a vibes lead version of all but one, a "scat" keyboard setting version of one (see above - "Groovin' on Love"), and a pan flute version of one - fifteen great cuts in all! There are two swing tunes (one a positive-message song), a jazz waltz, a warm ballad with a slow Bolero feel, and a cheerful Bossa. My plan is to create a CD with all the selections (the order will be a big decision!), and affiliate with CD Baby to begin selling it. With my day job and other time commitments, it won't happen immediately, but hopefully by sometime in 2007.
(8/8/06) I was excited to get a booking as headliner at Cavallino Ristorante and Jazz Bar for Tues., 9/26/06 eve. - a duo with well-known bassist Bill Markus, with whom I never worked. I've sat in many times at The Sportsman's Lodge and Steamers where he works steadily, so in effect I've played some songs with him.
(6/30/06) As of 6/1/06, I'm no longer with the "Belles of Bourbon Street" Dixieland band, but it is for the best, and the "parting of the ways" was cordial enough. One big factor was that for a long time I was aware that, not surprisingly, I was not "on the same page" with the other Belles (or vice-versa) - my goals and approach were very different from theirs, yet the rest of them were "in synch." Musically, we seemed to gel, but there were plenty of challenges, and some of them were just learning the Dixieland style, requiring lots of rehearsals. The time spent and the expenses far outweighed the benefits and the income, for me. I was giving "blood, sweat and tears" creating flyers and other documents, often working on promotion such as e-mailing, mailing, and making phone calls to help get the band better known. I uncovered many leads that I passed on to several Belles, and while they appreciated my efforts and talents to a degree, the time I spent was "over the top" and also, many leads I offered weren't pursued. They do have a steady monthly gig at Mr. B in Burbank for which I initiated the audition in Fall '05 (and which led to the Valley Jazz Club), and are still appearing there (I heard that gig ended, in early 2007 or so). I realized it was too much for me if I wanted to put time into my CD project and more "All Key'd Up" and solo gigs. I enjoyed my stint with the unique group for what it was, but it had more than "run its course."
(5/11/06) Having recently joined the jazz rehearsal (and about to be performing) group "The Jane Project," composed of numerous jazz 'cats' who all possess a good blend of playing skills and a dedication to the art and craft of jazz, I'm performing in a 7-pce. combo (piano, bass, drums, guitar, 2 horns, and vocalist) at a fairly new coffeehouse in downtown Pasadena just east of Arroyo Parkway on Wednesdays, May 17th and 24th, for starters. Details about the venue, Caffee 5060, at www.myspace/caffee5060, can be found on my Schedule page, and we are listed as performers on their page - I believe my site is being put as a link there as well. This year has found me steering more toward the goal of improving my skills in order to make myself a more interesting jazz pianist, as well as writing detailed arrangements for my (eventual!!) CD. I'm even doing some small recording sessions on vocals and piano for others, whom I've located on Criag's list - fun gigs; excellent practice for my future recording effort.
(4/28/06) The "Belles of Bourbon Street" band got to take part in a national Nike / iPod commercial as one of about 20 bands selected from around the L.A. area! Decked out in costume, we played and sang outside for awhile beforehand both as a group and along with some other excellent groups of different genres (including young male twins from Mississippi who sang and played the "geetar" like crazy!!), while we waited till it was time for us to be filmed. (First, we had to be 'approved' for costume and overall appearance as a group.) Hoping that this gets to television - if so, hopefully you'll see us on TV later on this year!...(Update, 4/12/08, almost two years later: I haven't seen it on TV - maybe it 'flopped'?!?!)
(2/28/06) As of 2/26, I am the accompanist (for any upcoming gigs) for one of my very favorite, and in my opinion one of the most talented song stylists - jazz/blues vocalist James Geralden. Also an actor with numerous screen credits and running commercials, James' lyric baritone voice can't help but 'pull you in' with its warmth and soulfulness combined with a rich and powerful timbre. Is your favorite artist in this style Joe Williams? James Ingram? Lou Rawls? Nat King Cole? If any or all, then James is the man you want to hear and see!...When you hear his first note, you'll know what I mean. A performance date is coming up Sun., 11/12/06 - it is a birthday bash for James and his lady, Marilyn, at the Industry Cafe' in Culver City. To learn more about James including his new single, please visit his site, www.jamesgeralden.com. Update: This collaboration continued for a short while; but other projects came up for James such as his CD project, for which he used Eddy Oliveri; so we haven't worked together in a long time.
(2/26/06 - revised 10/06) A performance opportunity at Khoury's Restaurant in Long Beach gave me a chance to hire prominent artist Tom Margitan on saxes and flute - glad Tom agreed to perform with us as featured artist along with Andy Cowan, leader and featured vocalist. Keita Akutsu joined us on drums! This was on Sun., March 12th, '06, 5-9 p.m. Khoury's features high-quality Continental cuisine at reasonable prices, and a great view of the water. Full bar, free parking, dance floor, and music entertainment some eves. Andy's and my performance agreement dictated trying to bring in as many guests as we we were able. We had about 15 fans, and it was a nice evening there.
(2/9/06) I completed the chart (lyrics and music) for a great Dixieland/novelty song I wrote for the Belles of Bourbon Street - entitled "Just Desserts." The music presented itself very strongly to me in my sleep in late January - and the lyrics came to me mostly the next day and the following week. The bandleader, Kati, really enjoys the song, and sang it at the Valley Jazz Club performance on March 5th along with accompaniment from the entire band. Having my original song performed for this event was exciting and fun - AND it got featured prominently in Harvey Barkan's fine review, in the April '06 L.A. Jazz Scene!!
(1/23/06) The week I spent in NYC was great, visiting and spending time with Mom and other relatives (late 1/1 to mid 1/8/06). Not that cold, either!...I took my two teen daughters, the younger of whom turned 15 on Jan. 6th. We went ice-skating at Rockefeller Plaza for the occasion - by going to the very early session, we avoided the crowd - good choice, as there were only a few skaters! My 19-yr.-old had traveled to NYC with her girlfriend last summer, so she was used to making her way around, and did so several times with a New York friend, as well a couple of times as with her sister, enjoying the city's shopping in the way of teen girls. As for me, in keeping with my jazz passion, I was thrilled to get to sit in (pre-arranged via a call from L.A.) and play a swing tune at 'Smoke' Jazz Club on 106th & Bwy., on 1/5/06, for their Thursday jam session - with drummer "Renaud" and his trio - they were phenomenal even though they were just the opening band for the George Coleman Quintet, which was the evening's feature band. Then, on Fri. 1/6 early eve., I caught bi-coastal vocalist Gretchen Parlato at 55 Bar in Greenwich Village - with Lionel Loueke, guitar and Alan Hampton, bass. What an uniquely gifted group, performing a set of obscure Brazilian and West African song selections, all sung in native tongues!...impressive.
(11/1/05) Great to have been part of the 'Fabulous Finds' contest on Fabulous 690 AM radio on Sunday eve., 10/9/05 and to be told by everyone who voted for me that my vocal performance (of "East of the Sun" by Brooks Bowman, featuring Kermit Welch on clarinet and Martin Rocca on bass with myself on piano, as recorded live by fine engineer Russ Jones), was the best of the three entries. Many people tried to vote for me, but missed the show or that part of the show that my vocal was aired on and thought they could just go online and find my name, partly because I had told people so. The gal from the station who called on the phone just said, after telling me my CD was selected, "Tell your friends to go online and vote for you!" But if you didn't catch the contestant numbers on the radio (I was no. 3, as it turned out, announced before & after the song, which came on at ~7:40 p.m.), you couldn't vote! A tough scenario if you were "green," as I was. Like the Wizard of Oz said to Dorothy near the end of her adventure re: the balloon, "I don't know how it works!" - But it was fun , and I have two nice recordings of the show - one by my daughters, and one by colleague Tony Giaimo, reed man with the Rhythm Kings Bands, who presented it on a subsequent gig (so I sent one off to my mom).
I stopped by the Westin LAX 10/25 where the monthly competition was held but got there later than planned; however I did learn that it was the other lady, Ashley First, not the man, who won for that week - because singer colleague and friend Peggie Perkins, who was a judge, told me that all four Oct. contestants (the weekly winners) were women! Ashley had sung 'Blue Moon,' but in her entry she didn't sing the bridge!! (??) Too bad the station went off the air shortly after; I'd have submitted another entry. Choosing songs for my eventual CD is the next project I've begun, and I've chosen about half, two of which are my originals - that's a start. They'll all need arranging and charting...whoa...I have a day job (secretary)!...
ALSO...My bio as written by prominent writer/reviewer Bob Agnew (now, alas, the late Bob Agnew, as of late 2007) was published in the Oct., 2005 issue of L.A. Jazz Scene, in the 'Players/Jazzlines' section (Pg. 12, right-hand column). Bob mentions my experiences from attending Music and Art High School in NYC, to participating in a college class at CCNY with the renowned late John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, to balancing a life in L.A. that involves holding down a day job as a secretary, finding some time for my two daughters (then 19 & 14), and striving toward higher musical goals. Since it's the only published bio I have, I value it greatly. I've tried to cut my own bio down, but it's still too long. Got to keep "chippin'" away!...Best to all, & thx...
The old, looonng basic bio, not necessary to read...and that also applies to most of the additional info above.
NINA BECK (BMI) has been playing piano since age five, and has been a professional performer around Southern California for over 23 years. An accomplished musician, Nina performs at jazz venues and for private parties, civic and community functions, and corporate events with other working bands (duos, trios, quartets or quintets, and big bands) and leading her own "All Key'd Up" groups (see Schedule). From 2003-04, Nina often worked at the Palos Verdes Golf Club with reed man Kermit Welch's Trio. Nina's "All Key'd Up" groups worked steadily at the Long Beach Yacht Club in 2003-04 and at the Money Tree from 2004-05; in Aug. '05 she worked weekly at the Marina City Club with Jessica Taylor of The Platters. in Sept. '06 she headlined at Cavallino Ristorante in Huntington Beach with bassist Bill Markus; in Oct. '06, she was featured at Metlox Courtyard in Manhattan Beach with bassist Richard Simon. She appeared regularly at Jax Bar & Grill in Glendale as sub for the noted Alexandra Caselli from mid-'05 to mid-'08, as well as (in May '08) for Marty Harris, another A-list pianist. Four times in '07-08, her trio played at The Four Olives in Long Beach. Her groups had nice private party engagements in '07 and '08, and in '08 she appeared monthly at Hip Kitty in Claremont, where she still performs periodically (since May '07). From Aug. '08 thru' Jan. '09, Nina played solo piano at the Palos Verdes Golf Club, sharing that weekly date with Marty Harris. She plays now and then at The Salt Creek Grille in El Segundo, as sub for fine pianist Urie Norris. Currently, she's with Woody James' Jelly Roll Jazz Band at Casey's in Canoga Park every 1st and 3rd Sunday, and with Tracy Wells' Big Swing Band at Alpine Village, Torrance every 2nd Mon. of the month.
Nina provides solo background music on piano including left-hand bass, with or without vocals. She has headlined and/or performed at Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Radisson, Red Lion, and Sheraton hotel chains; many restaurants; private yacht clubs; public and private social and country clubs; civic and community centers; tourist sites such as the Queen Mary and L.A. Science Center; and countless private homes. Major venues where Nina has performed and/or headlined include 66 California, Bistro 400 (one year - mid-'06 to '07), Cabrini's, Cafe' 322, Cavallino, Colombo's, Cousins, Fitzgerald's-Hilton Woodland Hills, The Four Olives, Hip Kitty ('07 thru' '09), Jax, the Lighthouse, Lunaria, Maggiano's at the Grove, The Money Tree, Mr. B, Sangria, Schatzi on Main, and Spazio. As for Steamers? - No - at least, not yet as of Nov. 2011!! Someday!...
Thanks for visiting here; hope you'll visit my Schedule page! (:->) -Nina
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