Nat Adderley Jr.

FAME Founding Artistic Director

Nat Adderley Jr. is best known for his work with Luther Vandross. 

Nat Adderley Jr. is best known for his work with Luther Vandross.  Nat wrote (and arranged) Luther’s first top 20 pop hit, Stop to Love, as well as Wait for Love and the Grammy-nominated Give me the Reason.  Nat also arranged many of Luther’s most popular records, including Superstar, Here and Now, If Only for One NightCreepin’, If This World Were Mine, So Amazing, There’s Nothing Better Than Love, Never Too Much, and Love Won’t Let Me Wait.  Additionally, Nat produced tracks on the last seven Vandross studio albums. These include My Favorite Things, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Going Out of My Head, Knocks Me Off My Feet, and The Closer I Get To You, a duet with Beyonce Knowles. That track is featured on Beyonce’s Grammy-winning album, Dangerously in Love (best contemporary R&B album); on Luther’s Grammy-winning album, Dance With My Father (best R& B album); and the track won the Grammy in 2004 for best R&B performance by a duo or group. Nat produced Luther’s Live 2003 at Radio City Music Hall; he was Luther’s musical director from 1981 until his death. 


Many other artists have had major successes with help from Nat Adderley Jr.  Nat wrote

The Wave for Kirk Whalum, arranged Natalie Cole’s 1987 hit recording of When I Fall

In Love, produced Just Another Lonely Night for Johnny Gill, arranged most of

Aretha Franklin’s album Jump To It, produced Gloria Lynne’s album No Detour Ahead,

and did the string arrangement for Doc Powell’s Grammy-nominated version of What’s

Going On.  Nat also produced tracks for the Temptations’ CD Awesome (2001), and Ruben Studdard’s Love Is (2009).


Nat, of course, played piano (and/or keyboards) on all the above mentioned recordings. All the piano heard in the Broadway production of August Wilson’s Piano Lesson were recordings played by Nat Adderley Jr.

Nat is a conductor as well. He conducted the string and horn sessions for the above recordings. Also, Nat can be seen conducting the London Symphony Orchestra throughout the video “Luther Vandross – Live at Royal Albert Hall”. In the past year the Nat Adderley Jr Quartet (or trio) has performed in Beijing (the Blue Note), Singapore (the Kool Kats Club), in New York City (Minton’s, Grant’s Tomb, the Sugar Bar), New Jersey (Shanghai Jazz in Madison, George Street Playhouse and Tavern on George in New Brunswick), and many other venues. In September ‘19 the band headlined Sheila Anderson’s (WBGO) “Somerville (NJ) Jazz Festival”.


Also this past year in NYC, Nat played with saxophonist Vincent Herring at Smoke Jazz

Club for the Valentine’s Day weekend, and with violinist Regina Carter at the Jazz

Standard  for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.


After a decades-long absence from theater, Nat has recently done three important shows

for the Tony-winning Crossroads Theater Company in New Brunswick, NJ. In

September of ‘17 he appeared for three weeks as arranger and musical director  for

“Sarah Sings a Love Story”. In April of ‘19 he did the same for “Sophisticated Ladies”

directed  by Tony Winner Andre DeShields. And for two weeks in Sept ‘19 Nat was MD

and appeared as the character “Larry” (Paul Robeson’s accompanist) in “Robeson”.

Three important CDs featuring Nat Adderley Jr. were released in 2016.  “Invitation” by

Nicolas Bearde (produced and arranged by Nat) got tremendous reviews and good

worldwide airplay. Also, Nat appears as pianist on jazz vibraphonist Jay Hoggard’s

lovely CD, “Harlem Hieroglyphs”. Finally, Nat is featured on the CD release from R& B

star Jaheim, including the hit single “Back in My Arms”.  


Nat received his BA from Yale University.

Tribute to Nat Adderley, Jr.