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NINA BECK - Pianist, Vocalist, Flautist, Published Songwriter

Nina Beck has been playing piano since the age of five, and has been a professional performer around Southern California for over 22 years. An accomplished musician, Nina performs regularly in jazz venues and for private functions both leading her own "All Key'd Up" groups, and with other working singers and bands. She also provides solo background music on piano including left-hand bass, with or without vocals. Nina plays nearly 800 songs from memory and specializes in 30's and 40's standards, but also plays straight-ahead jazz, show tunes, Dixieland, Latin and other ethnic music, mainstream country, rock 'n' roll, easy listening, and old=school pop and R&B. She provides accompaniment, including sight-reading and transposing. Her flute playing has included sitting in with Ray Pizzi and Libbie Jo. Venues where Nina has performed and/or headlined at include (the former) Cabrini's Jazz Alley, Cavallino, Colombo's, Fitzgerald's at the Hilton-Woodland Hills, Jax, the Lighthouse, Lunaria, Maggiano's (frequent solo pianist currently), the Money Tree (steadily in 2004-5), Mr. B, Sangria, and Spazio. Nina's piano playing and singing style have been likened to world-renowned artists Kenny Barron, Diana Krall, and Marian McPartland. Influences include Kenny Barron, Sonny Clark, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Gene Harris, and Hampton Hawes. Performance credits include jazz/blues legend Ernie Andrews and noted jazz artists Leslie Baker (winner of the 2007 South Bay Jazz Artist of the Year), Jack Coan, Gene Diamond, Dale Fielder, Maria Jacobs, Tera Johnson, Jacques Lesure, Edwin Livingston, Sherry Luchette, Doug MacDonald, Bill Markus, Matt Otto, Ralph Penland, Bili Redd, Gina Saputo, Cathy Segal-Garcia, Lou Shoch, Scott Whitfield, Richard Simon, Jimmy Spencer, Evan Stone, Johnny Vana, and Bobby White.

Nina is a published songwriter and member of BMI, and has a catalog of fine, well-crafted original songs in many genres including adult contemporary, country, blues, swing, jazz, retro Latin, R&B (ballads), and movie themes. Several are arranged for big band and have been performed, and two movie themes were combined into one piece for small orchestra. Her goal is to glean interest in her songs among a wide variety of artists, but time constraints prohibit frequent activity in this arena. Nina has two published song. The first one, the ballad "No One Touches Me Like You Do," was released in July 1998 by country recording artist Dainel of Michigan, on her debut CD, "No Doubt About It." It was released the following year in Austria on a compilation CD. Another, a country rock song signed by the same publisher, Betty Jane Music Publishing (BMI) and entitled "Loving Me Up While You're Letting Me Down," was released in July 2003 by the same artist, Dainel Jackson, on her second CD, "Better Things Than You," on the C.E.R. Country Records label. Nina's first published song, as above, was re-released on this CD. Her increased credibility led to collaborations with two other BMI publishers on their original material as well as her own lyrics and music, but again, time is limited - Nina maintains a "day job" as a secretary (20 years at an aerospace corporation). Two country songs demo'd in 2005 are still being pitched to Nashville artists. In December 2003, Nina received a Certificate of Achievement - Top 10% of 4500 entries worldwide - for two compositions - her country lyric "Driver's Seat," from Unisong International Contest. Two originals were finalists in Unison 2004 - "What a Catch" (a 'spin' song) and her jingle music, "Jingle Theme #1," . In Jan., 2007, her original jazz song "Groovin' on Love," co-written with BMI writer and drummer/singer/guitarist Joe Barile, was chosen by Song Domain song pitching service for their "Song Bank" for March, 2007. Then in Feb., 2007, her country song "A Heart'll Tell," co-written with publisher Bert Swanson of Illinois, was chosen for Song Bank for April '07. "Song Bank" songs are continually reviewed by Song Domain staff as possible matches for various recording opportunities that come in to the company, giving them a greater chance for success.

A Los Angeles resident since 1980, Nina is a high honors graduate of Fiorello H. La Guardia H.S. of Music and Art in New York City. Nina holds a BA, Magna Cum Laude in Music from CCNY, where she studied in the late 70's with prominent pianist Don Friedman, and very notably, with the late John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Nina studied privately with the late Jack Segal extensively, and with Phil Swann in workshops, at the Songwriters Guild, of which she is a regular member. She has studied piano with acclaimed pianist Milcho Leviev in Los Angeles as well as with Terry Trotter. Nina possesses a "perfect" ear wherein she can identify all musical tones and chords in "real time" upon hearing them, enabling her to play along with many songs she has never heard, transpose to any key easily, and write quick chord charts (she is hired to do "takedown" chord charts on a regular basis). Nina affiliated with Professional Musicians Local 47 in August, 2003, and is in its Pianists Club.

Nina's current schedule includes monthly gigs at Hip Kitty in Claremont as a duo with "vintage" tenor man Billie Harris of St. Louis, whose dapper look with top hat and suit and tasty jazz and blues style is straight out of the renowned bebop era; occasional "Happy Hour" solo gigs at Jax, as sub for noted pianist Alexandra Caselli; club dates with powerful singer (and also award-winning writer/producer/director) Andy Cowan at various jazz venues; periodic performances at the Palos Verdes Golf and C.C. as a solo pianist, and at Zabumba Brazilian Restaurant in West L.A. with flutist Bruce Gilman; performances leading her "All Key'd Up" groups (several already scheduled for 2008), and frequent gigs with "casuals" bands at major hotels, banquet halls, restaurants, clubs, civic and community centers, and private homes. Bob Agnew published Nina's bio in Oct. 2005's L.A. Jazz Scene, "Players/Jazzlines," P.12. Nina was also featured in the Nov. 2005 issue, "Half Notes."

TAKE NOTE! December, 2008 dates: Maggiano's at the Grove, Farmer's Market (3rd & Fairfax), L.A., Sat. Dec. 8th, 7-11 p.m., solo piano background music focusing on Christmas/holiday songs and carols; and Hip Kitty, 502 W. First St., Claremont (just west of Indian Hill Blvd. off the 10 Fwy.), Sun. Dec. 9th, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., duo with "vintage" tenor man Billie Harris of St. Louis (mentioned above). On Feb. 10th, 2008, from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m., she will appear with a quintet she has assembled for the Simi Valley Jazz Club, Simi Valley Senior Citizens Center, 3900 Avenida Simi (w. of Tapo Canyon Rd. off the 118 Fwy.), and play traditional swing tunes from the 20's, 30's and 40's. Also, Nina starts a solo piano and vocal series at Hip Kitty on Tuesday, Jan. 8th, 2008, from 7 to 10 p.m.

...Nina Beck's "All Key'd Up" groups (solo, duo, trio, quartet, and larger) are available for all types of functions and events, and club work. Musical setup includes Roland RS5 synthesizer, Roland amp, mics, & related equipment. For bookings & further information, including more on Nina's upcoming gigs, please check out her web site,, and/or contact Nina at (310) 698-2325 (cell), or (310) 937-6381 (msg.), or at Thanks & hope to see you soon!...Oh, one more thing - the photo is of the Tera Johnson Quartet ( with Nina Beck on keyboard, at Fitzgerald's Lounge at the Hilton-Woodland Hills in November, 2004. I plan to post a few more soon!...

Nina Beck

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