Derik Nelson and Family return to the Bankhead Theater in July with their jazz- and folk-infused interpretations of original and cover songs, showcasing the perfectly-blended harmonies only siblings can deliver. Their fresh arrangements bridge genres, from popular jazz standards of the 40s and 50s, and pop/rock hits of the 60s and 70s, to the chart-topping hits of today. Combined with stunning video displays, their concert is an immersive musical journey for all ages.
Last year, Derik Nelson and Family were one of just 15 groups named US Cultural Ambassadors and traveled to share their music with audiences in Moldova and Albania. They have just been reselected for 2019 rising to the top again among the 300 bands who applied for the honor this year. Tickets for their family-friendly concert at the Bankhead on Friday, July 12 are just $10 each. The week prior to the concert, the three siblings will offer a multi-faceted songwriting workshop for students in grades 6-12, as they have for the past two years.
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Derik, Riana and Dalten grew up singing. Derik, the oldest, began performing at the age of seven and, by the age of 18, had appeared in over 60 productions. In addition to acting and singing, he learned to play the saxophone at age 10, guitar at age 12 and the piano at 14, and began composing songs as a teen. He was awarded the Brian Wilson Music Scholarship for songwriting and obtained his bachelor’s degree in Music Industry from the University of Southern California, where he worked closely with faculty in shaping the curriculum for what has become their Popular Music program, the first of its kind in the country. In addition to a recurring role as lead guitarist on the television show “Glee,” Derik has written songs and sung for such television shows as “Raising Hope,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “The Voice.” His song “The Way It’s Gonna Go” won first place in the Indie International Songwriting Competition.
Riana co-directed the popular co-ed a cappella group “Amazin’ Blue” while a student at the University of Michigan. She has appeared on screen in “Cinnamon Girl” and “Glee,” and has been a lead vocalist for Princess Cruises. Dalten has been performing in musical theater productions since he was four years old. In addition to performing, he has extensive experience in video concept, design, filming and editing and his videos, synchronized with music, help create the visually-immersive experience at Derik Nelson and Family concert performances.
Growing up, the Nelsons attended public schools and are passionate about supporting music education so others can have the same opportunities they did with choir, band and theater classes. Their one-week intensive songwriting workshop at the Bankhead will run from July 8 – 12. Tailored for students in grades 6 through college, the program includes demonstration, small group work, and one-on-one coaching in songwriting and vocal techniques, stage performance, harmonizing, collaboration, composition and more. A student showcase for family and friends will be held on the final day. Cost for the week-long program is $500 and space is still available.