Although a quintessentially west coast jazz musician, trumpeter/vocalist Nate Birkey is a Midwestern native born in Indiana and raised in Colorado. With a soft, tenor voice and pining trumpet sound Birkey draws easy comparisons with "cool school" luminaries such as Chet Baker, Miles Davis and Art Farmer. While, these references are justified, a closer examination of Birkey's work reveals a knowledge of post-bop, the "great American songbook", and a knack for harmonically challenging original compositions. Introduced to the trumpet by his father at age 7, Birkey eventually enrolled in the Berklee School of Music in Boston. Later, after a two year stint at Seattle Pacific University, Birkey enrolled in the University of California, Santa Barbera to finish out his music studies. He has been a regular presence on the Southern California jazz scene ever since. Birkey released Blue under the moniker of The Avant Gardeners in 1993 and later formed a quintet under his own name releasing Indelibly You in 1997.