“You can’t think and play. If you think about what you’re playing the playing becomes stilted. You have to just focus on the music I feel, concentrate on the music, focus on what you’re playing and let the playing come out. Once you start thinking about doing this or doing that, it’s not good. What you are doing is like a language. You have a whole collection of musical ideas and thoughts that you’ve accumulated through your musical history plus all the musical history of the whole world and it’s all in your subconscious and you draw upon it when you play”
- Joe Pass, one of the greatest jazz guitarists of the 20th century
Hailing from Wichita, Kansas, Nathan Borton is a Michigan based Jazz guitar player that draws heavily from the mid-western tradition of bebop and the blues. His studies and performances have taken him across the United States from Brevard, North Carolina to East Lansing, Michigan, and everywhere in-between. Currently, Nathan is a Teaching Assistant for the nationally acclaimed Jazz Studies program at Michigan State University under the direction of Rodney Whitaker. There he is studying guitar under the tutelage of the great Randy Napoleon. Nathan has played with and alongside names such as: Freddie Cole, Melissa Aldana, Dmitri Matheny, Cyrus Chestnut, Brad Leali, Tanya Darby, and Jerry Hahn. He has also performed at various music festivals including: The Detroit Jazz Festival, the East Lansing Jazz Festival, The Lansing Jazz Festival, The Kalamazoo Jazz Festival, and the KCKCC Festival. Recently, Nathan was a finalist in the Wilson Center International Guitar Competition located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Nathan is also an avid educator of music. He currently teaches at the Jazz and Creative Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan under the direction of Benje and Ashley Daneman. JCI was most recently featured in Downbeat magazine. Nathan has also taught and mentored at various camps around the nation such as: The Brevard Jazz Institute in Brevard, North Carolina and The Spectrum Music Camp in East Lansing, Michigan.
Andrew is a guitarist and composer from San Diego, CA. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Jazz Studies, and currently performs throughout southwest Michigan. He has performed in the award-winning groups Gold Company, Frequency, MOJO, and the Western Michigan University Advanced Jazz Collective, and is part of the Downbeat award-winning group Lushh, as well as the Sam Pilnick Project and H.O.M.E. Andrew has received awards from Western Michigan University, Miracosta College, and Downbeat Magazine, and has been fortunate enough to perform with such artists as Chico Pinheiro, Ernie Watts, George Garzone, Brian Bromberg, Fred Wesley, Allen Hinds, Randy Brecker, Deborah Brown, Edward Simon, Billy Hart, Peter Erskine, and Peter Eldridge.