Primary Colors Music: Rick Vandivier and Nate Pruitt

Vocalist Nate Pruitt and guitarist Rick Vandivier enjoy a collaborative partnership that stretches back several decades. Their music, though primarily jazz and blues, also includes elements of swing, soul, pop, spiritual, and Latin styles – even a trademark deep Southern yodel!

Pruitt and Vandivier first formed their musical association in 1980. They originally met at the Garden City, a former San Jose jazz hub. The next decade saw many gigs, two albums and a European tour as part of a now defunct sextet, the fusion oriented A Little Night Music. As the 90s rolled around, Rick and Nate continued to perform together as a duo and with larger groups. The nucleus of Primary Colors was formed in 1993.

Vandivier is on faculty at Stanford University and San Jose State University and a favorite of Bay Area Jazz audiences, having played at many San Jose Jazz events with his group, Vandivier. He’s played as a sideman with Dr. Lonnie Smith, John Handy and Mose Allison, among others. Pruitt received a Lifetime Achievement Award from San Jose Jazz in 2004; his singing has been featured in films and commercials, and he’s performed with Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton and Quincy Jones and at the Monterey and North Sea Jazz Festivals, among others.