Descartes in Amsterdam
“DAVE NACHMANOFF seems to carry his own electricity with him. Not in a jar but in his guitar, voice and stage personality. The lights burn a bit brighter when he is on stage. The word started that he was sensational before he graced the stage of The Coffee Gallery Backstage and echoed after he left. I want him back and the paying customers want him back. ”
— Bob Stane, Coffee Gallery Backstage
Not many people get to realize their early dreams - Dave Nachmanoff has toured the world both on his own, and as the guitarist and opening act for Al Stewart ("Year of the Cat", "Time Passages"), at venues as far ranging as the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, to The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia. From performing with folk legend Libba Cotten at the age of 9, to playing in a rock band with his two brothers, Dave went on to earn a PhD in Philosophy at UC Davis and slowly built a grassroots following touring all over the world. In addition, he writes and records custom songs for clients and uses his recording studio to produce other artists. A truly independent musician, Dave's career is varied and never predictable.
Thirty-one years ago, singer-songwriter Dave Nachmanoff saw Al "Year of the Cat" Stewart live for the first time at Royal Albert Hall in London; ten years ago, he came back to that same venue and performed with Stewart. In 2016, he reassembled the core band from the Year of the Cat album — including occasional Pink Floyd collaborator Tim Renwick and smooth jazz superstar Peter White — and enlisted their musical prowess in support of his latest release, Spinoza’s Dream.
Nachmanoff is uniquely positioned to undertake a concept album project like Spinoza’s Dream; not only has he been Stewart’s musical co-collaborator for the better part of a decade and a half, he also holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California. So maybe the “singer-songwriter” tag deserves to be retired in favor of “singer-philosopher,” which would place him more rightly among the likes of Randy Newman, Warren Zevon, Kris Kristofferson, and other performers whose musical output has been guided by a creative vision that extends far beyond “moon-June-spoon” lyrics and “G-D-C-Am” chord progressions.
Growing up in the shadow of the nation’s capital, Nachmanoff cut his musical teeth on Pete Seeger, country rock, the Kingston Trio’s early revival folk, and ‘80s new wave, all melded with a soupçon of Brit folk a la Fairport Convention, John Martyn, and Ralph McTell. In fact, Spinoza’s Dream producer Martin Levan had a guiding hand in both Martyn’s Grace and Danger and McTell’s Water of Dreams, two critically-acclaimed classics of the genre.
Over the course of a dozen albums and countless tours, he has shared the stage with the likes of Alison Krauss, Cheryl Wheeler, Steve Forbert, Firefall, and John Wesley Harding (among many others), at venues ranging from The Bottom Line to the Glastonbury Festival. He’s also paid his dues in myriad classrooms across the United States, sharing his talents and nurturing the next generation of budding troubadours.
SingOut! has praised his “heartfelt, inspired songwriting … with a delivery both biting and assured,” but that’s only the tip of the Nachmanoff critical iceberg. Just Plain Folks honored him with the 2001 Songwriter of the Year award, he was a finalist in the 2011 USA Songwriting Competition, and for five consecutive years he was always in the mix for the top songwriting award in the South Florida Folk Festival before finally winning Best Overall in 2002.
Nachmanoff currently resides in Northern California, not far from the heritage vines that helped inspire his 2009 collaboration with Al Stewart, Uncorked. Perhaps the most important trait he shares with his local agricultural cousins is that his songs, much like a fine wine, gain complexity and substance over time.
SELECTED VENUE HISTORY
This is a small fraction of the venues played, but here are some!
|Montreal International Jazz Festival - Montreal, Canada||Royal Albert Hall - London, UK|
|Henegar Center for the Arts - Melbourne, FL||Crescent Ballroom - Phoenix, AZ|
|The Birchmere - Alexandria, VA||Rams Head On Stage - Annapolis, MD|
|Yoshi's SF - San Francisco, CA||Harlow's - Sacramento, CA|
|Aladdin Theatre - Portland, OR||The Triple Door - Seattle, WA|
|City Winery - New York, NY||SPACE - Evanston, IL|
|Dakota Jazz Club - Minneapolis, MN||Chatfield Center for the Arts - Chatfield, MN|
|Towne Crier Cafe - Pawling, NY||Sanctuary Concerts - Chatham, NJ|
|Caffe Lena -Saratoga Springs, NY||Center for the Arts at Natick - Natick, MA|
|Club Passim - Cambridge, MA||Boulton Center for the Performing Arts - Bay Shore, NY|
|Charlotte Performing Arts Center - Charlotte, MI||The Colonial Theatre - Phoenixville, PA|
|New Hope Winery - New Hope, PA||Whitaker Center - Harrisburg, PA|
|Cactus Cafe - Austin, TX||McCabe's - Santa Monica, CA|
|Barns at Wolftrap - Vienna, VA||Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen - Glen Allen, VA|
|Edmonds Center for the Arts - Edmonds, WA||Kent Stage - Kent, OH|
|Hugh's Room - Ontario, Canada||Capitol Theatre - Clearwater, FL|
|Kerrville Folk Festival - Kerrville, TX||The Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA|
|High Sierra Festival - Bear Valley, CA||South Florida Folk Festival - Ft. Lauderdale, FL|
|Heyde Center for the Arts - Chippewa Falls, WI||Poor David's Pub - Dallas, TX|
|L2 Center - Denver, CO||The Folk Club of Reston Herndon - Herndon, VA|
|Fiddle & Bow Society - Winston Salem, NC|