Sponsored by the R.C. Smith Foundation and the Roger Follett Foundation
Matt Nakoa is an internationally touring singer/songwriter, recently appearing at The White House and regularly with folk icon Tom Rush. Growing up on a small goat farm in rural NY State, Matt discovered music as a means of teenage escape and trained to be a concert pianist. Matt was ultimately accepted as a vocalist to Berklee College of Music where he studied alongside soon-to-be Grammy winners St. Vincent and Esperanza Spalding among others. After school, Matt landed in NYC’s vibrant piano bar scene. There he quickly became a star performer at Manhattan’s famous Brandy’s Piano Bar, with lines waiting outside the door each Saturday night.
As if illustrating two sides of himself, Matt’s first album, Light In The Dark (2012), is a sweeping pop opus, while A Dozen Other Loves (2014) explores an intimate acoustic palette. Across the board his song craft has garnered awards, including a win at Kerrville Folk Festival’s prestigious New Folk Competition. Though not easily pinned down, “In sum,” as a recent review put it, "Matt Nakoa is a musical adept, one of those well kept secrets you just can’t help but celebrate: intimate and genuine, soulful and bittersweet, a rich poetic songbook sung in praise to a complicated, emotionally present world."
You can see more of them on their website: Matt Nakoa