Two up and coming Portland artists are joining forces as they release their indie recordings at the top of 2013.
Rising indie artist Nicole Berke will perform songs from This Bright Before, Berke’s full-length debut to be released this February. Berke, a Boston native who moved to Portland in 2009, is a soulful pianist and singer whose songwriting conveys her diverse musical influences and a love of travel. In February of 2012, she began a four month residency gig in Beijing at the prestigious Kerry Center Hotel’s Club Centro with R & B band Mike Null and The Soulcasters. This sparked interest from ASCAP, who featured an original piece about her performing and living abroad in their We Make Music Blog. Upon her return from China, she worked diligently with drummer and producer Josh Lava to complete her new record and also landed an exciting artist endorsement from Kurzweil Keyboards. Currently she is teaching at Portland’s School of Rock. Berke's remarkably mature voice, commanding presence and mesmerizing musical style makes for an unforgettable performance. With influence from artists such as Fiona Apple, Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder, Berke's music is a fresh and well-crafted take on what soul-pop-jazz can be.
Guitarist and songwriter Chance Hayden is ready to set a new mark with his debut full-length album The Family Tree. Following several years of service as a standout sideman to numerous Portland artists, the PSU Jazz Studies graduate ambitiously made time to produce a collection of original works much inspired by his recent entry to fatherhood and family life. Hayden, who is 25, is being touted as a songwriter whose lyrics are both mature and profound. Somewhat unconventionally, Hayden is not the one singing but is instead opening up the vocal spotlight to notable colleagues Redray Frazier (featured on album) and Ian James (live). Hayden's characteristically tasteful guitar work shines throughout The Family Tree as does his knack for full-size band arrangements. The album is rich with vintage keyboards, horns and backup vocals while maintaining a desirable organic feel. Artists such as Lenny Kravitz and Raphael Saadiq provide Hayden with the inspiration to create music with classic R & B stylings and modern sensibilities.