A trio of Portland’s finest musical talent will be joining forces at The Goodfoot June 4. Nicole Berke, Chance Hayden and Steveland Swatkins will each play solo jazz-infused, soulful R&B inspirations as well as join each other in blending their musical chemistry together. Each musician has kept very busy over the last few years, building their respective careers.
Since arriving in Portland in 2010, emerging jazz artist Nicole Berke has launched her musical career with an impressive string of performances — locally, nationally and internationally.
2012 marked the start of work on her full length debut, This Bright Before, and culminated in a sold-out CD release party at Jimmy Mak’s in January 2013. The party was dual celebration shared with Chance Hayden and the release of his debut, Family Tree.
Since that time, Berke has had the honor and pleasure of opening for jazz legend, Dr. Lonnie Smith, as part of the 2013 Soul’d Out Festival in Portland. Having recently returned from her second four-month residency playing the InterContinental Lobby Lounge in Hong Kong, Berke has resumed her teaching efforts at the School of Rock in Portland and begins her spring performances of This Bright Before.
Hayden has kept himself equally immersed in playing. The multi-talented performer is a guitarist, producer, songwriter, arranger, educator, and a prolific live music presenter, and has remained extremely busy since the successful CD release party at Jimmy Mak’s.
Following several years of service as a standout sideman to numerous Portland artists, Hayden, a PSU Jazz Studies graduate, has cut his teeth appearing with jazz luminaries including Diane Schurr, Bill Watrous, Terrell Stafford, Tom Grant, Bobby Torres, Devin Phillips, Reggie Houston, David Goldblatt, Richard Arnold, Darrell Grant and Shelly Rudolph.
While his musical upbringing was in jazz, Hayden is a versatile guitarist that has connected many dots throughout the Portland music scene, keeping him in demand and playing with broad range of artists including Jarrod Lawson, Farnell Newton, Laura Ivancie and Redwood Son. While co-producing Redwood Son’s double-disc debut, The Lion’s Inside, light shined upon Hayden’s most desired direction as an artist in his own right.
Bringing his own style to the evening is the contemporary groove of R&B-soul-retro groove- electrofunkster, Steveland Swatkins. Swatkins plays with contagious spirit, offering his own brand of mischievous energy that permeates your musical senses. Swatkins loves what he does — playing numerous instruments, writing songs, produces and records for other artists, and plays in multiple bands. And if you’re looking for mercenary talkbox hooks, beats and tracking work, he’s your guy. When he not hooking up for special engagements with the likes of Berke and Hayden, you can check him out in one of his groups, including Juno What?!, Excellent Gentlemen, The Doo Doo Funk All Stars, Reva Devito, and Jans Ingber.
But on June 4, come and hear what the best of the local Portland jazz scene has to offer. You’ll find some new favorites that will give you a memorable night of music, with a lasting impression, and leave you wanting more.