Winterfest 2014: Q&A with Nina Et cetera

Photo by Cristina Razzano

Photo by Cristina Razzano

Nina Et cetera lives by the idea, “necessity is the mother of invention.” As a Long Island-based musician, Nina is more than just a singer-songwriter. Along with performing, she also spends her time booking, composing, recording, mastering, and collecting and restoring vintage gear. 

Live On the Vine’s Winterfest concert series showcases Nina Et cetera on three different occasions: February 15 and 22, and March 1. At these performances audiences can expect to hear everything from punk, folk, rock, ambient, experimental, Hindustani classical to country music.

Nina’s music is full of undeniable rhythm and personal accompaniment. With each performance, she captures the mood as she sings about what she feels is most important.

Q: Tell us about your first ever gig on (or visit to) the North Fork.

Nina: As far as I can recall it was either Martha Clara or Peconic Bay Winery that we first performed at about five or six years ago.

Q: What do you think about Winterfest expanding genres by changing from “Jazz on the Vine” to “Live on the Vine”?

Nina: It’s always good if we can get beyond labels, most of the great jazz players bristled at the term, for instance; Duke Ellington said,” there’s only two kinds of music good, and bad.” And we couldn’t agree more!

Q: Do you like winters on Long Island?

Nina: The best playing weather is moderate, when it’s bitter cold or oppressively hot it’s not so great. But then again we’ve also played in our winter coats on the north fork to an audience that was indoors! So needless to say we play no matter what!

Q: Do you drink wine? If so, do you have a favorite North Fork wine (or vineyard)?

Nina: Both Tim and I are big fans of dry red wine, so it’s a fine perk! Every vineyard we’ve played at has something we find quite enjoyable.

Q: What can people expect to hear at your shows?

Nina: You’ll hear everything from backwoods hillbilly tunes, traditional gospel, old school rock and roll, forgotten soul and pop tunes, boogie woogie, and delta blues reworked and brought into the modern age, tailor made to suit us. Think Aretha, meets Jimmie Rodgers, and the Carter Family, Missippi Fred Mcdowell, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Phil Spector ala Ronetttes, Miles and Sun Ra, Dylan’s- Blonde on Blonde, Lightnin Hopkins, Mahalia Jackson and Moondog et al.

Q: How do North Fork audiences differ from other areas you play, whether up Island or the city or wherever?

Nina: The North Fork provides us an audience that is surprisingly diverse at times not unlike what you might find in Manhattan, or perhaps more so. On the other hand, they often harbor low expectations of what they’ll hear so we endeavor to defy their expectations!

Q: Is there anything about the North Fork that you dislike or would like to see improve?

Nina: The North fork scene is one of the best things that’s happened on the Island in recent memory and we’re pleased to be a small part of it!