Nolan Ford

Music Director, Producer, Midday Host

Nolan Ford is the Music Director for North State Public Radio. After graduating with a Media Arts degree from Chico State University in 2004, he accepted a part-time position with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. The job's flexible scheduling presented Nolan with the opportunity to travel and perform music all across the West Coast with his first rock band, the secret stolen. A love of the arts bloomed into an obsession. Following five glorious years with SNBC, Nolan returned to CSUC and received a mathematics teaching credential in 2009. After several years of teaching middle and high school math, he accepted a position as Managing Editor for Chico arts/entertainment weekly, The SynthesisCurrently, Nolan can be heard on-air as the local midday host for NSPR, and also produces several programs for the station including Blue Dot, Nancy's Bookshelf, and Songs From Studio C. In his spare time, Nolan continues to travel and perform with various musical projects.

Shortly after winning the “Best Folk” and “Best Female Vocalist” awards by the Chico News & Review earlier this year for their musical duo, Bunnymilk, songwriters Kelly Brown and Lisa Marie unveiled an entirely new sound with their garage-rock band, Skin Peaks, which has since become one of the most talked-about acts here in the Chico music scene.

Flickr, Creative Commons

On Monday, Allen Toussaint, fixture of New Orleans R&B, passed away while on tour in Spain. Almost exactly a year ago, I spoke with him on the phone to promote his upcoming show at Laxson Auditorium in Chico. Above is the audio from our conversation.

Photo by Beth Lamberson

Originally based out of Boston, Lake Street Dive's musical journey began in 2004 at the New England Conservatory, where all four members met while studying music.

Eleven years of performance and one viral YouTube video later, and the “pop-soul juggernaut” finds itself on an exponential rise with appearances on Conan, Letterman, The Colbert Report and just about every big summer music festival you could think of, including a stop earlier this year at one of the North State’s favorites – the High Sierra Music Festival.

Later this evening, the band will take the stage at Laxson Auditorium on the Chico State campus for what promises to be an exciting, memorable show.   

Photo by Lilita Wood

Garrett Gray is a Chico-bred songwriter known for performing across the North State with his previous band, Perpetual Drifters. Gray has been recognized by the Chico News & Review with CAMMIE awards in the categories of Best Songwriter as well as Best Male Vocalist, and his music has been described by the Synthesis Weekly as “roots rock that casts the world in hues of burgundy romance and gray loneliness.” 

On tour all the way from Hawaii, Jake Shimabukuro has made a name for himself here in the North State with regular appearances at the California Worldfest in Grass Valley as well as Laxson Auditorium in Chico. Arriving at the Red Bluff State Theatre this Wednesday evening, Shimabukuro is currently touring in support of his latest album, Travels. Music Director Nolan Ford catches up with the ukulele master on the phone between performances.

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