Musician and composer Nathaniel Braddock tours internationally and performs an array of different 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 leads the acclaimed Central African soukous 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 has performed and recorded with a number of indie rock bands, including Tobin Summerfield’s gigantic band “Never Enough Hope”, The Zincs (Thrill Jockey), Ancientgreeks (Flameshovel), Edith Frost (Drag City) and others. He also 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 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 N. America on African popular guitar styles and was a guest lecturer at both Northwestern and DePaul Universities. 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 and choreographer Asimina Chremos, and with Julie Atlas Muz at the 2004 Whitney Biennial in New York. He is also 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.