Originally from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Natalie Bates moved to Kansas City at a young age where she began studying under the direction of the much sought after Jazz/Latin artist, percussionist and drummer Doug Auwarter.
Natalie continued to study with Doug from elementary school until the end of her high school career when she began applying her techniques after she and two other jazz band members and classmates began a non for profit community big band in 2009 called the "5 Star Jazz Band" under the direction their former band director, Bob Drummond. As lead drummer and permanent member of the Board of Directors, Natalie also became the Social Media Coordinator, Graphic Designer and Website Developer for the band while pursuing a Graphic Media Certificate degree at Penn Valley Community College. During 5 Star Jazz Band's first year as a non profit, Natalie was featured on Fox 4 News' "Reaching for Excellence" as a founding member of 5 Star Jazz Band.
Currently, Natalie sits on the Board of the Advisory Council of ArtsKC and as Assistant Director, Percussion Instructor, Human Resource Manager, Permanent Board Member, Program Director, Strategic Planner, Jazz Studies Curriculum Director/Instructor and Social Media Developer/Coordinator for the 5 Star Jazz Band.
During her time as a student at Penn Valley and drummer for 5 Star Jazz Band, Natalie averaged four funk/ jazz performances a month in Missouri and Kansas for community, civic, charitable and corporate events while also working with Osmond Fisher and the Young Jazz Masters at The Mututal Musicians Foundation and developing as a freelance Graphic Designer and Photographer for small local funk and punk groups in the Kansas City area. These opportunities have granted Natalie a portfolio that ranges from event coordinating, to designing and printing logos, album covers, posters, brochures, websites, business cards, flyers, t-shirts and other promotional materials
In the summer of 2012, Natalie was accepted into the Jazz program at the University of Kansas City's Music Conservatory where received a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies in May of 2015.
In January 2014, she and her other UMKC classmate, Kasim Hardaway founded KN Custom Shelving - A local shelving business focused the preservation of raw materials by constructing shelves out of recycled and re-purposed wooden drum set shells and other spare exotic hardwoods. As co-founder and co-owner of KN Custom Shelving, Natalie was also recently accepted into National Association of Professional Women (NAPW)
Natalie's most recent project began in June of 2016 when she and three other local woman jazz musicians started their own trio, which eventually turned into the Natalie Bates Quartet, featuring Aryana Nemati on Bari Sax, Carly Atwood on Bass and Jackie Myers on Piano. The group frequents the Green Lady Lounge, with a full schedule listed on the Natalie Bates Quartet Facebook Page
In her spare time, Natalie volunteers with the 5 Star Jazz Band. A video of the group is shown below, on the 2014 ArtsKC Featured Artists video "Imagine" and Neon Jazz Radio