About

Musician and composer Nathaniel Braddock tours internationally and performs an array of musical styles in venues as disparate as underground arts spaces and Lincoln Center.  Based for years in Chicago, Braddock relocated to Sydney, Australia, in 2014, and to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2016.

Nathaniel performs solo fingerstyle guitar concerts drawing on his repertoire of  African roots and American Primitive music.  He leads several African style bands including the acclaimed soukous and highlife group the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, a collaboration between American, Ghanaian, Zambian, and Congolese musicians including the great Samba Mapangala  and members of Ghana’s acclaimed Western Diamonds.  Nathaniel also leads the classic Kinshasa style band Air Congo, the experimental African jazz group Trio Mokili with Junius Paul and Makaya McCraven, and  the instrumental surf and Sun Ra project Plutonians!  Nathaniel has performed and recorded with a number of American and Australian indie rock bands, including Tobin Summerfield’s gigantic band “Never Enough Hope”,  The Zincs (Thrill Jockey),  Ancientgreeks (Flameshovel), Edith Frost (Drag City), and Songs (Pop Frenzy). He played for years in the Butcher Shop Quartet, performing electric guitar arrangements of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and other 20th century classical works.  Braddock leads an eight-piece electric guitar ensemble that plays his original compositions.  He has twice been featured in Guitar Player Magazine.

Nathaniel teaches privately and at the Passim School of Music.  He was a senior faculty member at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music from 2004 until 2014, and Chair of the Chicago Waldorf School’s guitar program from 2005-12.   Braddock’s class offerings include African Electric and African Acoustic Guitar Styles, Fingerpicking Around The World, Fingerboard Theory, and British Folk Revival, and specialized courses on the music of artists like Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Davy Graham, John Fahey, and Bert Jansch.  His ensemble classes include Reggae, Afrobeat, Ethiojazz, Instrumental Rock, and “Kill Yr Idols”–a survey of influential punk and underground rock. Braddock also offers workshops and masterclasses in Europe and North America on African  popular guitar styles and was a guest lecturer at Georgetown University, the University of Newcastle, Northwestern University, the Kellogg School of Business, DePaul University, and Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.  Braddock has co-presented workshops with Ghanaian Palm Wine guitarist Koo Nimo, Tinariwen guitarist Abdallah ag Alhousseini, and Malian songhai guitarist Sidi Toure.

Other non-guitar musics that Nathaniel has studied include church bell music, Javanese and Balinese gamelan.  He has presented many new works for dance in collaboration with Khecari, Hedwig Dance, choreographers Liana Percoco and  Asimina Chremos, and with Julie Atlas Muz at the 2004 Whitney Biennial in New York.  He premiers a new work for dance w collaborator Edisa Weeks in 2018.  He is the recipient of 2002, 2004, and 2005 CAAP grants from the City of Chicago to fund the development of new work, and a 2013 DCASE granting funding music research in Ghana, West Africa.