Common Ground Coffeehouse
At the First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Ave., Hastings-on-Hudson New York
with Heather Aubrey Lloyd
MATT NAKOA is an internationally touring singer/songwriter, recently appearing at The White House, throughout India, 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 on CoverLayDown.com 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.”
Opening the evening is Heather Harvey Lloyd. More than a decade touring the U.S., Heather Aubrey Lloyd has brought her lush, passionate voice to every type of venue, from folk festivals and bars to bait shops and clothing-optional resorts. A recovering reporter, her songs drift from journalistic to deeply personal, each narrative offered up in her distinctive alto and layered over finger-picked guitar. Her sets are rounded out with a few pieces on ukulele and djembe, the instrument that has earned her primal reputation as co-front for the Baltimore-based band ilyAIMY. Solo and with the band, Heather wields her wit and warmth from the stage to build a relationship with every audience. She’s backed and supported Dar Williams, Ellis Paul, John Gorka, Cheryl Wheeler, Shawn Mullins and more. She performed as a 2012 Most-Wanted Artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, was a Lilith Fair Talent Search finalist, and has formally showcased at both the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance and the National Association for Campus Activities conferences. She has released 7 cds with ilyAIMY, and two solo discs, “Samples,” in 2010, and “A Message in the Mess” in 2017.