I started performing professionally at age 13 playing guitar and singing in local blues clubs with my first professional group, Out Of the Blue.
In 1994, I was awarded a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. After a short stint in a summer program, I turned down the scholarship and decided to come back home and continue paying dues in the local Cincinnati and regional club circuit.
At age 19, I began my infatuation with Latin music co-founding the Cincinnati Afro-Caribbean group, Bailando Desnudo, playing guitar, cuatro, percussion and singing. Bailando Desnudo performed it’s brand of Salsa, Reggae, Soca and other Caribbean music to Cincinnati and beyond by playing over 250 shows a year.
This is the time I learned to play the 10-String Puerto Rican Cuatro. The instrument I play now was built for me by a gifted luthier, Roberto Rivera. The Cuatro, Puerto Rico’s folk instrument, has 10 strings — 2 choruses and 3 doubles tuned B-E-A-D-G. If you look close, my grandfathers signature is inlaid in the fretboard — the first musician of the family.
In 2005, I performed with the legendary cuatristra (cuatro player), Yomo Toro and pianist Larry Harlow at the CincyLatino Festival — a very special moment for me and such an honor to meet and perform with Yomo.
I continued to study Latin music by learning Latin percussion, specifically the Timbal. I joined the groups Tropicoso, Salsa Caliente and several others, smacking cowbells and having a wonderful time.
For several years, I had the honor to work with the incredible husband and wife songwriting and performing duo, Over the Rhine. Tour managing, sound engineering and ultimately performing as a member of the band playing guitar, Cuatro, percussion and singing.
I’ve been very fortunate to have my music featured on television commercials, radio, theater, podcasts in addition to appearing on many recordings.
Nicholas Radina’s Discography:
Salsa on The Square Compilation CD Volume 1-6. (2009-2014) *Producer and Musician
Eclipse Band – Eclipse (2007)
Brian Andres and the Afro Cuban Jazz Cartel” – “Drummers Speak” (2007)
Tropicoso Tropicoso-Un Cuento (2004)
Zak Morgan – When Bullfrogs Croak (2004) (GRAMMY NOMINATED)
Kelly Red & The Hammerheads (2004)
April Alosio – “Close Your Eyes” (2003)
Oasis World Sampler No. 1 (1998)
Bailando Desnudo – “Bailando Desundo” (1997)
Out of the Blue – “Live at Allyn’s Cafe” (1992)
Contact me for information on having me perform at your event or on your recording.