Although Nate Birkey grew up in Evergreen, the trumpeter spent a lot of time in Santa Barbara, where he split his time playing in jazz clubs and with local indie-pop band Spencer the Gardener. For the past five years, Birkey has lived in New York City, where he's refined his jazz chops with some of the city's finest players, like Phil Woods, Dave Liebman and Gerald Clayton, as well as opening for Diana Krall. Birkey not only bears a slight resemblance to Chet Baker, but his wispy vocals and warm trumpet tone also recall the lauded horn player, as evidenced by Birkey's latest effort, 2008's Almost Home. An adept and lyrical improviser, Birkey should feel right at home playing two sets at Dazzle with Denver-based pianist Jeff Jenkins, bassist Ken Walker and drummer Paul Romaine.
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