A Chenango County native will have a homecoming of sorts on Saturday when he brings his award-winning abilities to 6 On The Square. Singer-songwriter Matt Nakoa, a native of Smyrna, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Oxford venue.
According to a media release, Nakoa grew up on a small goat farm in Smyrna, and got his start musically as a classical pianist. When his interests shifted to guitar and rock 'n' roll, Nakoa began writing his own music and studying his craft more seriously. The 2002 Sherburne-Earlville Central School graduate earned a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied songwriting and performance with Pat Pattison and Livingston Taylor. While at Berklee, he also collaborated with Grammy Award winners Esperanza Spaulding and Kathy Mattea. Nakoa graduated from Berklee with a four-year degree, and began his professional career in earnest.
Nakoa's first solo album, 2012's "Light in the Dark," was received as "an eclectic pop/rock masterpiece," the release said. "A Dozen Other Loves" (2014) explores a mainly acoustic, folk-inspired palette drawing from his roots. This avenue has led to folk radio airplay and performances with veteran song smiths Patty Larkin, Ellis Paul, and Tom Rush.
Nakoa has toured internationally, recently giving concerts at The White House and throughout India. He is a 2014 Kerrville New Folk Winner and a Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Most Wanted Artist. Additionally, his piano music has received favorable reviews in publications including The New York Times, and his film scoring has been featured at BAM, and on Disney.com. Nakoa lives in Brooklyn.
Tickets for Saturday's performance are $15 online in advance, and $18 the day of the performance. Ticket price for students younger than 18 are $2 by reservation. For information, call 843-6876 or visit 6onthesquare.org/schedule.php . Doors open an hour before showtime.
Upcoming performances at 6OTS include Chuck Pyle on March 28; Rod MacDonald on April 11; and Cindy Mangsen and Steve Gillette on April 25.
6 On The Square, Inc., a not-for-profit, volunteer-based, community music and arts venue, is located at 6 LaFayette Park in downtown Oxford.