Music at Aquinas College

Nathan Borton, M.M.

Nathan Borton
Lecturer of Music - Jazz Guitar


Hailing from Wichita, Kansas, Nathan Borton is a Michigan based Jazz guitar player that draws heavily from the mid-western tradition of bebop and the blues. His studies and performances have taken him across the United States from Brevard, North Carolina to East Lansing, Michigan, and everywhere in-between. Nathan served as a Teaching Assistant for the nationally acclaimed Jazz Studies program at Michigan State University under the direction of Rodney Whitaker during his Graduate Degree. There he studied guitar under the tutelage of the great Randy Napoleon.

Nathan has played with and alongside names such as: Freddie Cole, Rodney Whitaker, Dmitri Matheny, Dale Black, and the Sencalar/Glassman Quintet. He has also performed at various music festivals including: The Detroit Jazz Festival, the East Lansing Jazz Festival, The Lansing Jazz Festival, The Kalamazoo Jazz Festival, the Friends University Jazz Festival and the KCKCC Festival.

Recently, Nathan was the Third Place prize winner in 2019 and a finalist in the 2018 Wilson Center International Guitar Competition located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He also won two Downbeat awards in 2019 for best "Graduate Jazz Soloist" and "Live Engineering/Production."

Nathan is also an avid educator of music. He currently teaches at the Jazz and Creative Institute (JCI) in Kalamazoo, Michigan under the direction of Benje and Ashley Daneman as well as, Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. JCI was most recently featured in Downbeat magazine. Nathan has also taught and mentored at various camps around the nation such as: The Brevard Jazz Institute in Brevard, North Carolina and The Spectrum Music Camp in East Lansing, Michigan. Nathan was also involved in the “Welcome Home Tour” with the Sencalar/Glassman Quintet as a part of an educational outreach to East Lansing public schools.