Nate May

Nate May is a composer, pianist, and educator active in diverse realms of music. His compositional output has included work in classical genres, jazz, and fixed media. His collaborations have included many works for dance (Wanjiru Kamuyu, Inae Chung, Jessica Bonenfant, and Jamie Johnson), music for an original production by Jeff Daniels (The Meaning of Almost Everything), for poetry performance (Mannini Mokhothu with Antjie Krog), and for film (Christopher E. Tucker, Ashley Harrison, and Mitchell Axelrad).  He is currently composing a commission for the Aurea Silva Trio, to be premiered and recorded in 2014. As a pianist he has toured and recorded with the jazz quintet Baby Houdini and has worked extensively with dancers.  As a staff accompanist in the dance departments of the University of Michigan and the Interlochen Arts Camp, he has had the opportunity to play for classes given by many major dance companies, including the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Lucinda Childs Dance, and Mark Morris Dance Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Jazz and Contemplative Studies from the University of Michigan, where his teachers included Geri Allen (jazz piano) andStephen Rush (composition).  During his undergraduate study, he spent a year in Cape Town, South Africa, studying jazz and African music and producing the album Kalahari Waits for indigenous poetry and improvised music trio Khoi Khonnexion.  His studies have also brought him to Mysore, India, where he spent three weeks in 2011 learning Carnatic voice and mridangam. In 2013 he has seen the mounting of his sound installation “MORE THAN JUST” at the EMP gallery in Baltimore, the premiere of his soundscore to Wanjiru Kamuyu’s 35-minute dance work “Spiral” in Philadelphia (with subsequent performances in New York, Detroit, and Pittsburgh), and the premiere of his 40-minute monodrama, “Dust in the Bottomland” in Huntington, West Virginia.  “Dust in the Bottomland,” for which Nate wrote the text and music and plays piano, has awakened his interest in the contemporary culture of his home region, central Appalachia, leading to his relocation to Fayetteville, WV in August 2013.  The piece, sung by Andrew Munn, bass, has had performances in and around central Appalachia, and more scheduled beyond the region.