Press

“An exquisite display of fingerstyle playing that connects what John Fahey called American Primitive guitar with the traditional palm-wine style of Sierra Leone, with many detours in between.”  Peter Margasak on “Quadrille & Collapse”, Chicago Reader, 4/4/2017

“Plenty to learn as well as enjoy in his integrations of disparate styles.” Bill Meyer on “Quadrille & Collapse”, Dust Vol. 3 No. 5,  4/7/2017

 

Article on Braddock’s teaching in Journal of Music, Education and Technology Vol 9, #2, Matthew Thibbealt, 2016

Interviewed by Pinback drummer Chris Prescott for Monofesto, 21 AUG 2014

Interview and performance on the Resonant Radio Podcast, January 2014

“Exploring the Old Town School of Folk Music’s Beck Song Reader Ensemble: An Interview With Nathaniel Braddock” Matthew Thibeault, University of Illinois, General Music Today 30 October 2013

Five broadcasts and interviews as Artist In Residence on Chicago Public Radio, July 2013

“Chicago guitarist Nathaniel Braddock founded the pan-African ensemble Occidental Brothers Dance Band International in 2006, and he’s certainly proved that he can get people dancing. Even as the group expanded, shifting its front-line focus to seasoned singers from Kenya, Ghana, and the Congo, his gorgeously limpid, liquid solos remained the primary source of instrumental melody and improvisation. Early last year Braddock put his improvisation front and center in a new group, Trio Mokili, with two of Chicago’s finest jazz players: drummer Makaya McCraven (also of the Occidental Brothers) and bassist Junius Paul. The nimble rhythm section gives Braddock a plush cushion for his solos with grooves derived from the music of Ethiopia, the Congo, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere (there’s even some American jazz, including a version of “Bosco” by saxophonist Marion Brown). No one will confuse Trio Mokili with a vintage African combo, but it isn’t trying to pass itself off as one—this is some of the most infectious, propulsive jazz-driven music in town. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader,  28 December 2013

Guitar Player Magazine Profile December 2009

Chicago Reader Cover Story April 2010

Chicago Reader Profile of Minutemen Tribute February 2011

“Notwithstanding the party-time feeling of this music, however, the Occidentals deal in meticulously conceived, tightly arranged, crisply articulated arrangements. This is not a band that gets together to riff freely, in other words. The precision of their playing, the pinpoint accuracy of their cues and the careful structuring of their songs affirm that they leave very little to chance – at least in ensemble passages.”
-Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune 17 September 2011

“The Occidental Brothers Dance Band International has, with help from a series of Ghanaian and Congolese singers, turned halls all over town (and well outside it) into joyous African dance parties. But the ensemble got its start playing instrumentals, and alto saxophonist Greg Ward and guitarist Nathaniel Braddock have jazz chops to spare. Here they’ll apply them to tunes from Mali, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa in a set that they’ve already taken to jazz festivals in Vancouver and Montreal.”
-Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader, 31 August 2011

“This disc convinces me that the greatest African dance band on the planet this year hails from Chicago.”
-Norman Weinstein, The BEAT vol 26 no 3

“One of ten must-sees at the Pitchfork festival: a blend of Chicago and West Africa, with the dancefloor as common ground.”
-Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune 20 July 2008

“You could easily believe the tracks on this very sharp cd were recorded in Kinshasa or Accra years ago rather than quite recently in Chicago…OBDBI offer up simply stunning instrumentals recalling the golden ages of rumba, highlife and other African styles”
-T. Orr, World Music Central, 12 May 2007

“Like they say so much more often than is true–sweet. A-”
-Robert Christgau’s Consumers’ Guide, June 2009

“On Odo Sanbra, Occidental Brothers Dance Band International earn a place alongside their highlife forebears by doing their own thing with the music and emerging with a sound that pays tribute to the past while moving the form forward… If highlife is going to get the revival it deserves, it could scarcely ask for better ambassadors.”
-Joe Tangari, Pitchfork.com, 3 June 2009

“A feeling of confidence prevails as well as a sense that this mixed bag of Americans and Africans have found a music that feels like home. Odo Sanbra restores the colour and heft to the nearly forgotten party music of another continent.”
-Richard Henderson, The Wire, Sept 2009