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Nano Whitman

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Listen to 28

Sprawled out on sleeping bags with his brothers, Nano spent “camp out” nights lying on the living room floor, entranced by the strumming of a Martin guitar and his mother’s voice. The songs were traditional folk tunes or the classics of Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary. At 11, Nano was accepted as a member of the Philadelphia Boys’ Choir with whom he discovered the power of singing harmonies in some of the world’s premier venues. Performing in the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, and accompanying Pavarotti in Philadelphia’s Academy of Music were enough to lure Nano forever towards a life in music. Nano wrote his first song while still in the choir.

Nano graduated from Harvard University with a degree in music composition. A life changing trip in 9th grade to see The Who’s Tommy on Broadway had always stuck with him and inspired Nano to write a rock opera for his undergraduate thesis. Due to Harvard’s narrowly focused music program, he was forced to head across the river to The Berklee College of Music in order to find a mentor. Enjoying the best of both worlds, Nano completed and produced a performance of “Shine Like You,” a rock opera in two acts, collecting a Berklee experience and a Harvard degree.

The Philadelphia native relocated to Austin, TX in 2004 where he first gained attention as a solo artist. Currently, he has fully immersed himself in the heart of Austin's thriving music scene through collaborations with many of the local talented musicians (including former Spoon-bassist Joshua Zarbo and renowned jazz singer Kat Edmonson). Now playing with his newly-formed band, Nano's live performances have been garnering a loyal following and have been highlighted by numerous e-zines and blogs including Big Western Flavor and The Austinist. A recent tour through the Northeast featured a sold out show Upstairs at World Café Live in Philadelphia and The Rockwood Music Hall in New York City as well as an appearance on NBC’s morning show, The 10! Show, in Philadelphia.

2011 marked the release of "I Leave on the Light," his debut full-length album. Local radio appearances (KUT, studio 1a), radio play (KUT, KGSR, KETR) and gigs in the fabled listening rooms (Continental Club, Saxon Pub, Cactus Cafe, etc...) of Austin soon followed.

Nano’s song, "28," won first prize in the 2010 Billboard World Song Contest for Americana/Folk and took 2nd place in the Singer/Songwriter category of the International Songwriting Competition, largely thought of as the premier songwriting competition in the world with over 15,000 entries. His song, “Break It On Your Own Time” has twice been chosen as the Song of the Day on Austin’s NPR affiliate, KUT. Nano’s “Gone On” received airplay as the Philly Local Pick on WXPN, Philadelphia.

Nano spent October & November of 2010 in Los Angeles as one of 14 writers chosen to attend ASCAP's “Lester Sill Songwriter Workshop.” This workshop, that has featured the likes of George Martin, Jackson Browne, and Ben Harper as panelists, opened up the industry to Nano who is now actively involved in co-writing as well as pursuing a career as a performer.

Trained in the classics but schooled on classic rock, Nano’s songs are structured with originality and delivered with authentic emotion. They are constructed with honesty; including heartfelt stories of family ties and tensions, as well as loves found and lost. Nano is a piano-playing story teller and often migrates to the guitar when the song calls for it, but it is his vocals – sometimes soaring, sometimes intimate, always inviting and warm – that truly drive the music he loves to make.

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