Nate Myers admits he’s not the best public speaker, but when he picks up his saxophone, he finds his voice and becomes a master communicator, expressing his deepest emotions and passionately connecting with audiences everywhere from his adopted hometown of Atlanta to various cities throughout the U.S. and around the globe.
After years of sharing the stage with, touring and opening for some of the biggest R&B and gospel artists in the world, the multi-talented composer and performer takes control of his artistry and musical destiny with the release of a full length album whose title reflects the drive of his longtime creative mission: Soul Essentials. The collection will include the sensual, ultra-romantic ballad “Pillow Talk,” which Myers released earlier as a digital single.
Explaining the reason behind the project’s ultra-cool title, Myers says, “I like to think of myself as a soulful saxophonist, and when I play, I always want it to be like having a conversation with people and giving them something uplifting and inspiring and this is definitely ‘feel good’ music. The vibe draws from my passions for everything from contemporary soul, neo-soul, gospel and contemporary urban jazz, so I consider it soul music that’s essential to everyone’s soul. It’s not just for fans of one genre or another, but for music fans of all backgrounds and ages.
“Being a sideman is a great way to make a living, and I have been blessed to work with some amazing artists, but ultimately it’s like working to make someone else’s dream come true,” he adds. ”I felt it was finally my turn. With Soul Essentials, I really want to pour my soul out through my music and let the world know that I have something to say.”
Myers’ unique background includes being raised a “military brat” who lived everywhere from Germany (where he started playing sax at age 12) to Korea and Mexico. He was also the son of two preachers, and cut his teeth playing sax in church, usually one note per song as he learned to master his horn. He considers music his divine purpose, and his decision to pursue a solo career (several years after leaving the 9 to 5 day job grind) an important step in his journey.
“Musicians actually fulfill the role of many professions in one, from doctors to therapists,” he muses. “The sax is my weapon to fight the battle called life, and I’ve spent years assisting everyone else with my weapon to lay the groundwork for finding my own voice. I also want to start giving back and am in the planning stages of starting a foundation to help kids develop their musical talents. It’s all about spreading love through music.”
During his college years at South Carolina State University, where he majored in Music Education, he laid the foundation for his professional career playing at churches, weddings, jazz clubs, banquets, concerts and private events. Over the years, he has shared the stage with gospel artists Allen & Allen, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary, among others. He has toured with Grammy nominated artist Calvin Richardson and has opened for Charlie Wilson, Fantasia, Kim Burrell, Tamela Mann and many more. As a solo artist, Myers – a self-professed “big fan of getting the crowd involved” – performs regularly for passengers in piano bars and concourses at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the busiest in the world. Other regional venues include The Royal Peacock in Atlanta and Wind Creek Casino in Montgomery.
In 2016, the owner of The Royal Peacock, a native of the African country Eritrea, invited him to perform at their Jubilee Music Extravaganza Tour. He played for thousands of people as part of the first American band to ever perform there, in addition to solo shows at other venues. Myers has also traveled internationally with the party band “Jessie’s Girls,” and regionally with The Main Attraction Band, playing a mix of countryock, rap and R&B. “I like to say that if you can play gospel, you can play anything, and my church background has definitely been a blessing to me,” Myers says.
Myers created the music on Soul Essentials with the core members of his band, which has been together for over five years: bassist David Chisholm, drummer Loron Brown and keyboardists Maurice Fisher and Dainavon Tuzo. All of them are heavy hitters with major all-star resumes. One of Myers’ favorite tracks is the D’Angelo flavored neo-soul tune “Wake Up,” which began as an impromptu jam before he developed its infectious melody and groove. The message is telling everyone to wake up and pay attention to what’s going on in the world, and go deeper inside to discover your full potential. “Pyramids” is a richly percussive, Afro-centric, horn section fired tune featuring Chisholm on percussion and congas; it was inspired by Myers’ trip to Egypt while on tour in Eritrea. The title track “Soul Essentials” is dedicated to the saxophonist’s wife and children.
FROM THE BEGINNING
Although he was born in Columbus, GA and grew up mostly in the U.S., Myers’ first experience playing sax was in his middle school band class in Weisbaden, Germany, where his father was stationed. While honing his talents in church, he became active in his high school marching and concert bands. The summer after his freshman year, he spent every day practicing along with any CD he could get his hands on. He credits his playing and phrasing style to a mixture of influences, ranging from contemporary jazz sax greats Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright and Boney James to neo-soul vocal artists Musiq Soulchild and Floetry and gospel legend Fred Hammond. During his years at SCSU, he was part of the Marching 101 band. One of his most memorable performances was when he was chosen to play the National Anthem in front of thousands of football fans. He later attended Fort Valley State University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music.
“Many musicians blessed enough to make a living in the service of other artists will stay the course, play it safe and build an impressive resume while letting their true artist voice lay dormant. It’s the great fortune of R&B and contemporary urban jazz fans that Nate Myers made the bold decision to get in touch with that inner voice and begin sharing his deeper artistry with the world. With the infectious, supremely grooving and sensually soulful and lightly exotic tunes on Soul Essentials, he fulfills his mission to spread love through music without compromising or limiting himself to one specific genre. There’s neo soul, contemporary and traditional R&B, smooth urban jazz and even some straight ahead licks. Myers is living up to the title of his debut album, quickly establishing himself as an essential contemporary jazz artist.” – Jonathan Widran