NYC based trumpeter Nathan Eklund has played with Dafnis Prieto, Phil Woods, Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Mingus Big Band, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Pedro Giraudo, Chuck Loeb, Roseanna Vitro, among others. He earned Jazz Performance degrees from William Paterson University (B.M.) and New Jersey City University (M.M.), under the tutelage of trumpeters Joe Magnarelli, Scott Wendholt, Dave Rogers & Bud Burridge. He has released five albums as a leader and recorded on countless more as a sideman, including Dafnis Prieto's 2018 Grammy winning Back To The Sunset.
Nathan was born near Seattle, Washington and began his musical journey by studying piano at the age of six. Inspired by his grandfather's big band and military trumpet playing during the World War II era, Nathan picked up the trumpet at eleven and soon became interested in jazz through the trumpet voices of Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Clifford Brown.
Nathan began his serious musical training at Central Washington University, where he studied classical trumpet performance under the direction of Thomas Gause. Uncertain at this stage as to what role music would play in his life, Nathan became immersed in the world of jazz at CWU and decided to make it his focus. In 1998, Nathan moved to the New York City area to study jazz at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. He attained his Bachelor's degree from WPU and his Master's degree from New Jersey City University, while studying with NYC area professionals Dave Rogers, Scott Wendholt, Joe Magnarelli, Bud Burridge, Rich DeRosa, John Mosca, Paul Meyers, and Andy Eulau.
Professionally, Nathan is involved in a wide array of projects. He has released five albums as a leader, most recently his 2012 release Crafty Christmas and the 2010 Nathan Ekund Group project Coin Flip. Along with his projects as a leader, Nathan's list of recordings as a sideman continue to grow. He recorded for Spyro Gyra's 2006 Grammy nominated album Wrapped In A Dream, as well as for Phil Woods, Dafnis Prieto, Chuck Loeb, Roseanna Vitro, Richie Cole, Scott Reeves, Gerald Veasley, Craig Yaremko, Shirantha Beddage, Dan Rufolo, and many more.
Nathan is also active in the NYC area big band scene, having performed with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Mingus Big Band, Roy Hargrove Big Band, Ron Carter Big Band, Jimmy Heath Big Band, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Dafnis Prieto Big Band, Phil Woods and the Festival Orchestra, Pedro Giraudo Big Band, Terraza Big Band, Bill Mobley Big Band, Chris Stover's "Book Of Sand," Pete McGuinness Jazz Ochrestra, Newyorkestra Big Band, Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra and Cecil's Big Band. He has also performed as a sub on Broadway's Anything Goes, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, On A Clear Day, and Leap Of Faith.
Along with his accomplishments as a performer, Nathan has committed a portion of his professional life to furthering the development of music through education. Since early 2001, Nathan has been a private trumpet instructor, teaching throughout New Jersey. He currently is an adjunct faculty member at New Jersey City University (Jersey City, NJ), Delbarton School (Morristown, NJ), and Jazz House Kids (Montclair, NJ). From 2015-18, Nathan served as the Manager of Music at Jazz House Kids, overseeing all Academic Year youth programming. He now serves as the Big Band Coordinator at the Jazz House, directing their award winning Jazz House Big Band. Nathan regularly adjudicates jazz festivals/competitions and has given clinics at high schools and colleges nationwide.