Nick Forster is a professional musician, record producer, radio host and Executive Director of a non-profit organization based in Boulder, Colorado. He is most widely known as a long standing member of the award winning bluegrass band, Hot Rize and as the host and founder of the musical and environmental radio program, eTown.
Born in Beirut in 1955 while his father worked for the State Department, Nick was raised in upstate New York. He started playing drums at age ten, but abandoned them in favor of his first guitar a year later. As a teen, he played in folk and folk-rock bands. His desire to pursue music as a career in the mid-seventies led him to Colorado, where he worked at the famed Denver Folklore Center. It was there he met the three young men with whom he would form the contemporary bluegrass band Hot Rize in 1978. For the band, Nick supplied bass, vocals and guitar and was also well known as the M.C. and host. He won recognition as a writer as well, earning praise from Rolling Stone Magazine as “an exceptional songwriter.”
Hot Rize established an acclaimed international reputation, releasing ten albums and touring worldwide fulltime for over 12 years. The band appeared on countless radio and television programs, including Austin City Limits, The Grand Old Opry and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Hot Rize earned both a Grammy nomination and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award in 1991. Ironically, in the face of this success, the band members collectively decided to pursue individual projects later that year and went into semi-retirement. In September of 2014, Hot RIze released When I'm Free, their first new studio record in 25 years and will be touring heavily through 2015. The Bluegrass world is welcoming them back with open arms.
Based on his varied experiences, and while on a musical State Department tour in eastern Europe, Nick conceived the idea of a new concept in radio - eTown, the popular weekly radio variety show now heard worldwide. As eTown’s host, Nick leads a radio program that entices the audience with live performances from today’s top musicians, then engages listeners with conversation and information about our communities and our environment. His warm on-air wit, insightful interviewing skills and stellar guitar playing are hallmarks of the show. eTown shows are recorded live at the brand new solar-powered eTown Hall in downtown Boulder, adding eco-friendly and innovative high-end music venue building skills to Forster's resume.
In addition to eTown and Hot Rize, Nick remains an active player in the music world, performing at major festivals around the globe and playing recording sessions for various artists across all genres. He also is an accomplished record producer with a Grammy nomination and other prestigious awards to his credit.
Nick lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Helen and their cat Lucy. He has three daughters and one granddaughter.