Nathan was born into a musical family, his grandparents could play various instruments as well as performing with a band, his mom a piano player and his father for many years taught music and was a choir director as well as a Polynesian music teacher at various high schools.
Nathan’s early years consisted of piano lessons, learning the guitar and ukulele and having the natural ability to sing. From grades seven through twelve his main instrument was the saxophone.
In college he performed in the jazz ensemble as a bass player and the wind symphony as a percussionist. By this time his passion for the electric bass made him decide that this would be his main instrument.
In 1983, during his college years, he started his professional career accompanying performers such as Gabe Baltazar, Henry Kapono, Loyal Garner and Nohelani Cypriano to name a few. He was a member of the Hoku award winning group, Ka’eo, as well as with the award winning group The Ali’i’s. He also did a 16 year stint with the legendary Don Ho. He’s done various high school and college level seminars, covering subjects from writing, arranging and sequencing to computer music.
For a few short years, Nathan was a music teacher at various schools in Hawai’i. He’s even done a project with students from Campbell High School. The students had a chance to see the workings of what goes on in producing a song and recording it.
Other than being a stage musician, Nathan has performed on commercials for Windward Mall, Meadow Gold, JCB credit card co., etc. He’s done background music for various T.V. shows for the Travel Channel, and has done music beds and liners for various radio stations.
In 2001, Nathan released a c.d. called “E Apo Mai”, which garnered him a couple of awards. One was for “Male Vocalist of the Year”, “Song of the Year” and “Contemporary Hawaiian Album of the Year”. A few years after, he released a Jazz c.d. called “Bass Etude”, which focused on the electric bass…this project was honored as “Jazz Album of the Year”.
From 2003-2010, Nathan was a member of Hapa. In 2005 they released an album called “Maui” which shot up the Billboard Magazine’s World Music chart, and peaking at number 7. The following year Hapa went home with 4 out of 6 Hoku Awards. That very year Nathan was honored as “Male Vocalist of the Year”. This was his second time that he went home with this award which placed him in a small group of gentlemen who has won this award more than once. In 2006 Nathan yet again was honored as “Male Vocalist of the Year”, his second in a row, three times total….the only male artist to be recognized as such.
In December 2008 Nathan released his long awaited follow up to “E Apo Mai”, called “Kane’ohe”. This c.d. is focused on songs which celebrate the place that Nathan calls home. He wrote all twelve songs, played every instrument, sang all the background parts, engineered, mixed and mastered the entire c.d. Wayne Harada, a very well respected music critic once said of Nathan, “Nathan is that distinguished rarity…a jack of all trades, master of a wide domain”. Don Ho exclaimed, “A diamond in the rough with tremendous potential”. New York Times, “Nathan has an indebt understanding of orchestration, and his singing style is effortless”.
(article republished from NathanAweau.com)