Composer/Pianist/Trumpeter Nate Sparks grew up in Runnells, Iowa. Nate began playing the piano at age 7, trumpet at 11, and pursued jazz throughout his middle school and high school years. His acceptance into several national high school honor bands and music festivals–including the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Band, The Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, The Vail Jazz Workshop, and the Jazz Band of America–led him to a post-secondary study of jazz at the Juilliard School, where he also began his career as a writer.
Since then he has been commissioned music for the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, Bobby Sanabria and the Multiverse Big Band, the Grammy-Nominated MSM Afro-CubanOrchestra, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, The ABS Chamber Orchestra, the New York Trumpet Ensemble, and the Des Moines Big Band among others. While he regularly takes commissions for freelance work, his main outlet as a writer is with his own band, the Nate Sparks Big Band, a New York-based 17-piece jazz orchestra.
Playing exclusively his own Compositions, arrangements, and transcriptions, the Nate Sparks Big Band performs regularly at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York City.In May of 2017, Nate graduated from Juilliard with a Bachelor’s degree in performance, and now in addition to writing and performing, actively pursues a career as a jazz educator.
Nate has been a guest clinician for the New York Youth Symphony Jazz Orchestra (New York, NY), The University of Scranton (Scranton, PA),Drake University (Des Moines, IA), Delaware Valley High School (Milford, PA), andSoutheast Polk High School (Des Moines, IA). Nate also teaches private lessons inJazz Piano, Piano Fundamentals, Theory, Jazz Improvisation, Composition and Arranging, and Trumpet.