"I'm thrilled with my new Kurzweil keyboard and I've been having a lot of fun engaging and experimenting with all of the sounds and functions. The features are all very user-friendly, and yet I feel as though I've barely scratched the surface...the creative possibilities are infinite! It has unquestionably become my latest source of inspiration and is exactly what I've been looking for."
- Nicole Berke, recording artist, keyboardist, songwriter and vocalist
Earlier this year Nicole purchased her first Kurzweil and was so very excited she sent a message to her manager and said:
"I'm so excited to explore and experiment with all of the sounds on this new keyboard! I can already see a world of possibilities...it is exactly what I've been looking for!"
That's the message Nicole Berke sent to her manager the day the new keyboard arrived. Since 2009 Berke has managed to balance her career with her university studies, handle being on tour just days after graduating and fully embrace the opportunity to live and perform in Beijing, China for four months. In addition she is currently recording her first full length album and has just accepted an endorsement opportunity with Kurzweil keyboards. Berke is experiencing the rewards of all her hard work.
Nicole Berke is a singer, songwriter and pianist living in Portland, Oregon. Berkes love of music and singing comes from her musician parents. Growing up in the Boston area, Berke learned to combine her passion for singing with the irresistible draw she felt towards the piano. At the age of thirteen, she began writing her own songs, later taking part in weekly blues jams at the Acton Jazz Caf. Nicole recorded and released a six-song demo, Rise in 2006, which put her out on the scene as a musician to watch. In February of 2008, Nicole finished her debut studio recording, the self-released Frondescence EP. Nicole spent 2008 and 2009 playing around the Northeast promoting the Frondescence EP and building up a supportive fan base.
In September of 2009, Nicole moved to Portland, Oregon from Boston, Massachusetts (where she had been performing her music while attending UMass Boston) to complete her bachelors degree in Social Psychology at Portland State University. Soon after graduating, in 2010, she embarked on her first national tour as a special guest performer with singer/songwriter Kiernan McMullan. During the tour, a live performance with McMullan and a solo performance on Good Day Wisconsin, Fox 11 in Green Bay, marked her entrance into regional television. After the tour, Berke explored the music scene on the west coast while continuing to gain national exposure through various internet and newspaper interviews, feature stories, live videos and radio airplay.
In the summer of 2011, Berke toured with John Craig and The Weekend and is featured on several of the ten tracks on the recently-released album, Numbers. Berke has performed in many of the top venues in Portland, most notably in 2011 when she appeared as a featured artist on the main stage at The Bite of Oregon Festival. She has also performed at The University of Wyoming twice in 2011, first solo and then bringing her full band after she was asked to return.
2012 has been an exciting and fortunate year so far for Nicole: in February, she began a four month residency at the prestigious Kerry Center Hotel in Beijing as the lead singer for the R&B band, The Soulcasters. In June, after having made the most of this successful and life-altering opportunity to perform and live in China, Berke returned to Portland, Oregon. In October she purchased her new Kurzweil and is thoroughly enjoying her new PC3LE8 88-key keyboard. Currently, Nicole is getting ready to release her first full length recording, This Bright Before. The album, produced by Josh Lava and Berke, will feature ten original songs ranging in style from soul to jazz to pop.