Drummer and composer Nasar Abadey is the founder, leader, and driving force of SUPERNOVA®, which performs music from the threshold of jazz to beyond space and time, expressing their compositions through traditional African rhythms, bebop, fusion, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, modal, and free form. Based in Washington, DC, Abadey has also built a solid reputation as a sideman with several groups, and has recorded and performed with many national artists throughout his career. Abadey began playing drums at age five, drawing influences from powerhouse drummers such as Tony Williams, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, and his cousin Frankie Dunlop, to name a few. Nasar Abadey creates music which he refers to as Multi-D: multi-dimensional and multi-directional.
Under Abadey’s leadership, SUPERNOVA’s® debut CD, Mirage, was released in 2000 on the Amosaya Records label, and their sophomore CD, Diamond in the Rough, was released on DPC Records in 2011. In 2014, SUPERNOVA® was invited by Jason Moran to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage to perform in recognition of International Jazz Appreciation Day. SUPERNOVA® also recently toured Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Mozambique as musical ambassadors for the US State Department’s American Music Abroad Rhythm Road. Abadey is also founder and director of the big band, the Washington Renaissance Orchestra, which premiered a concert at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, in June, 2013, as a tribute to African American Music Month, and was named Best Large Ensemble of 2014 by the Washington City Paper. Prior to forming SUPERNOVA® he was co-founder/leader, along with Joe Ford and Paul Gresham, of BIRTHRIGHT, and co-producer of two albums, Free Spirits and Breath of Life.
Named the 2011 Best Drummer in Jazz by the Washington City Paper, Abadey has performed with many jazz greats, and has appeared in music festivals internationally. His credits include Amiri Baraka, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Rouse, Gary Bartz, David Sanchez, Cyrus Chestnut, Gregory Porter, Sonny Fortune, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Kenny Kirkland, Gary Thomas, Stanley Turrentine, Sun Ra, Frank Morgan, Bobby Hutcherson, Pharoah Sanders, Russell Malone, Malachi Thompson, Andrew White, and many others. He has made festival appearances including San Remo (Italy), Montreal (Canada), Cap City (DC), Virgin Islands (Caribbean), JVC (New York City), Morocco (Africa), Chicago Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, DC Loft Jazz Festival, Atlanta Jazz Festival, Mellon Bank Jazz Festival (Philadelphia), East Coast Jazz Festival, Free World Jazz Festival (DC), International Children’s Festival (Seattle), Guatemala City Jazz Festival, Duke Ellingon Festival, DC Jazz Festival, and the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival.
Abadey has been awarded grants and honors for performance, merit, and composition by the National Endowment for the Arts, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, Creative Arts Performance Services (CAPS), the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the Prince George’s Arts Council. He has served as music panelist for the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and is a board member of the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA).
Nasar Abadey and Supernova