Alex Nester

Alex Nester

    There are many skilled vocalists who have the right ingredients: proper technique, lung power, and perfect pitch.  Yet even those admirable attributes sometimes can not replace heart, soul, and a natural ability to deliver the goods in several genres.  Two artists who have delivered the goods over the past few years are Cristina Aguilera and Joss Stone, each of whom first won audiences as teenage phenomenons and still maintains that soulful, gutsy fire with every note she sings.  Many faithful music fans can now add twenty-four year old Alex Nester to that list.  She may have not been the household name during her teenage years like Aguilera and Stone, but whenever Nester performs traditional or contemporary blues, an upbeat soul jam, or a convicting gospel piece, her vocals invite the listener in; holding their attention through all the verses, choruses, and hooks.  

    Alex Nester - born Erin Alexandra Nester - grew up with musically inclined parents.  Her father - jazz horn player Russell Nester, has backed Alex in the local blues band Gary Manker & The Blues Crew, and honed his craft in various regional jazz and swing bands for several decades.  Her mother, acting coach Candace Nester, always encouraged Alex's vocal gifts.  Since her first commercial for Yo-Gel at age nine, Alex always found steady employment.  She has worked with top forty hit makers The Four Tops, The Fifth Dimension, and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.  As a recording artist, Alex was part of the cross-cultural female pop/rock vocal trio, Knockout, who in 2004 recorded the independent disc Can You Hear Me Now and was also honored by the government of The Republic of China to represent the U.S. as goodwill ambassadors for modern western pop music. 

    After paying all those dues on a regional basis, Nester reached her musical peak when she received the Outstanding Female Vocalist award at the 2000 esteemed L.A. Music Awards for her original composition, "Unique."   Many musicians and critics raved about Nester's astounding vocal talents.  Well-respected jazz fusion drummer/percussionist Mouzon dubbed Nester as "one of the greatest singers in the world."   Bobby Burns Jr., the current trumpeter for Earth Wind & Fire puts her on par with other soulful voices: "a voice with the soul of Aretha, the song quality of Nancy Wilson, and the fire of Chaka." 

    Unfortunately, after receiving her L.A.M.A. accolade, the following year brought an unforeseen illness that changed Nester's career goals for a short but very painful period.  While recording her debut project with long time musical associate Robinson, Nester was stricken with cancer.  Fortunately after a year of chemotherapy and lots of prayers from friends and family, she was declared cancer-free.  She celebrated by independently releasing her solo debut recording Rattle The Walls, working with veteran producer/arranger Robby Robinson (Martha Reeves, Alphonse Mouzon) .  The disc offers a full menu of urban delights: blues, gospel, R&B, soul, and jazz; all delivered with a compelling, gigantic voice that has lived the professional highs and tackled the personal lows.

    Rattle The Walls, along with plenty of Nester live performances, won her a sizeable audience among both pop and soul audiences, and a nomination for the 2009 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards.

    In early 2010, the blogosphere began to buzz about Nester as a contestant on American Idol, and she appeared on previews for episodes of that show scheduled for early February.  We expect the nation will find out what her growing fanbase already knows: Alex Nester is the real deal.   

    By Peggy Oliver with Chris Rizik