b. Nathan Wayne Heathman, 2nd January 1957, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
d. 11th October 2004, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Nathan Heathman was one of those artists, who is known to many musicians, but only recently had come to the attention of soul music fans.
He was also known as the man who comically played the requests of hundreds of nearly intoxicated tourists who stumble upon the piano bar of a swanky Washington DC hotel, steps away from the White House, where Nathan entertained weekly.
During a break between sets, he spoke about his humble beginnings and the toils of recording his first solo CD.
This was wearing a black floor-length tailor, made blazer he often he wore in concert.
Nathan said it had not always been easy.
'I found the piano because in second grade, we couldn't afford to rent the violin.'
At that time, rental was a hefty $4.00 a week.
By third grade, Nathan knew he loved music after going on a class field trip to see 'The Sound Of Music', then effortlessly memorizing the leads to every song.
By age 13, he was playing alto clarinet, that is until he heard Dionne Warwick's 'A House Is Not A Home', and fell in love with the sexy saxophone introduction.
It was immediately on to the saxophone.
Before eleventh grade, he had moved up to first chair saxophone, a highly coveted position in high school bands.
Everything seemed to be musical bliss, until he stumbled upon a piano practice room and started a rejuvented intimate relationship with the piano.
He taught himself to read and play by ear.
Nathan would often play along with his music collection, trying as best he could to match what he heard.
This play-along fascination would lead him to an opportunity he never could have imagined.
Being a fan of Philadelphia International Records / Gamble & Huff and similar quality music of the 70's era (a period Nathan refered to as the 'greatest time in music-arrangment wise'), he attended a Jean Carne concert at an intimate Washington DC nightclub with some friends.
The concert was heavenly, with just one exception, Jean didn't sing 'his' song, a favourite called 'When I Find You Love.'
Most would simply leave the concert slightly disappointed, but for Nathan, this was not the case.
It became a case of passion and persistence.
The passion for music and the persistence of this concert patron who told Jean 'I know it!' when she responded to his request by saying, 'No one is my band knows that song!'
As you can imagine, she invited him to the piano stand.
He played, she sang, and a musical friendship was born.
Nathan soon became and continued to serve as Jean Carne's musical director.
Between then and 2004, he founded the band, 'Moment's Notice', a band comprised of handpicked musicians who regularly assisted him in backing national artists throughout the world.
Nathan starred as 'Purlie Victorious', the lead role in the off-Broadway production of 'Purlie' and wore the hat of musical director for Marymount University's production of 'Little Shop Of Horrors.'
He had entertained at 'open mike' nights at clubs and piano bars all over the east coast-playing a repertoire from smooth jazz to requested show tunes.
Nathan travelled extensively with his gift throughout Europe, Canada, Japan and the Caribbean.
When asked if he was ready to step into the solo spotlight, he smiled and said, 'I've been training for this moment for almost 15 years'.
Nathan, unfortunately, died from a massive heart attack on Monday the 11th of October 2004.
A memorial service was held on the 17th of October 2004.
I will miss a good friend.
The texts on this page were used by the kind permission of Nathan Heathman. Thanks Nathan.
Right Here, Right Now (Expansion Records 2001)