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About

About

NIOKA WORKMAN is very active among the force of innovative cellists forging new frontiers for string players. Drawing on the “genius” of celebrated bassists and family members, uncle Arthur Harper (J.J. Johnson) and father, Reggie Workman (John Coltrane), Nioka has a developed a powerful, original style of her own on acoustic and electric cello.  Versed in many forms, Nioka’s multi-disciplinary approach has afforded her credits with leading artists in music, dance, performance art, theater and television. Her credits include performances with R&B artists India Arie and Joe. She has toured extensively with Spoken-Word artist Saul Williams appearing  in the Montreaux Jazz Festival with Live Human, Ronnie Size, Nikka Costa, Blackalicious and Michael Franti/Spearhead. Nioka has supported singers; J.D. Walters, Helga Davis, John Kelly's 'Escape Artist' and urban illuminaries  Kanye West, Jay-Z and Common at a Pepsi Smash Festival. Nioka has a vast array of orchestral and ensembles experiences which include performances with the New York Women's Ensemble, Opera Ebony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, David Murray’s ‘A Salute to Duke Ellington’ Orchestra, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra and featured solos with the Uptown String Quartet (Kennedy Center),  Cooper Moore’s Keyboard Project (Son D’Hiver Festival 2008. France), Anthony Davis/Molissa Fenley’s ‘Hemisphere’, Anthony Braxton, Butch Morris Conductions, Trilogy Opera Company, the Avery Brooks/Craig Harris Project (Harlem Gatehouse), with Cassandra Wilson’s Traveling Miles Orchestra (Chicago/Lincoln Center) and several performances with Greg Osby’s ‘Symbol of Light’ project at Joe’s Pub and the Village Vanguard. Her TV and film credits include appearances on Oxygen, Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live. Besides her love of music, Nioka has an ongoing love affair with dance and movement. In addition to her work with choreographer Leslie Parker, her passion has lead to various commissions of her work by numerous dance companies. Awarded the 2013 American Composer’s Forum Award/Live Music for Dance  to  create an electronic score for “Malignant”(Thread’s Dance Co./dir. Karen Charles). More commissions include compositions for the Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey and solos with the Errol Grimes Dance Company. Her work has premiered at the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Rush Arts Gallery, Blue Heron Theater and Symphony Space. Nioka has worked extensively with Rent choreographer, Marlies Yearby. Her work on “Woomen” has evolved into  healing, sound and movement workshops. Nioka  performs regularly with her Jazz Chamber ensemble Firey String Sistas! at the Firey Strings Company during the season. Nioka is dedicated to community and 'giving back'. She is creating a library of new works, arrangements, CDs and workbooks through the Firey Strings Company. Overall, Nioka’s passion for the cello and it’s evolution keeps her busy extending into the future. Nioka is a native New Yorker, has attended the High School of Music & Art. She has a BM from the Aaron Copeland School of Music, Queens College and Suzuki Certification from School for Strings in New York.

Photo Credits: Edward Primus  HRII 2014

 

RECORDINGS

FSCO SongBook 1: The Blues Series

Iron Blossoms- Hui Cox/Nioka Workman Project

Acoustic Soul - India Arie (Motown)

Better Days -  Joe (Jive Records)

 

FESTIVALS

Vision Festival 19

Radiance 2 "A Presentation to Young Artist" (2014)

Radiance 2013

Many Colors of A Woman (2012)- Nicki Mathis

Son D’Hiver, 2008 (France) Cooper-More Project

Pepsi Smash Festival, 2007 (USA) Kanye West

Sno-Core Tour USA

Euro-tour with Saul Williams

 

DANCE

Threads Dance Company-2013-"Malignant" by Karen Charles, score by N. Workman

Joffrey Ballet-2011-14  choreographer Marlies Yearby, music by N. Workman

Walls- 2011 Work by Nioka Workman, Hui Cox-guitar, choreographer Leslie Parker

Errol Grimes Dance Co. at City Center – Score for cello, percussion and voice in 2007

Nioka Workman Jazz & Dance Company- Workshops in Philadelphia in 2006

 

THEATER

Mingus Takes (By Aisha Rahman) part of a reading series directed by Talvin Wilkes

HRII- Marcus Dargan director (NuAfrikan Theater Co.)

The Escape Artist- John Kelly (2010-Present)

Venus Project (By Lori Parks & Lori Evans) a play about South Africa’s Saartis Bartman. -Solo Cello

Harlem Duet (Janet Sears) a slight twist on Shakespeare’s Othello- Cello & Bass

 

COMMISSIONS

American Composer's Forum/Live Music for Dance

Threads Dance Co./Karen Charles

Joffrey Ballet, Symphony Space

Marlies Yearby’s Woomen, UMass, Kuumble Theater

Echoing Women/Jennifer Chin, Joyce Theater

Zhingo/Alvin Ailey II/MWProdNYC

 

TELEVISION

Saturday Night Live-w/Sojourner & India Arie

Oxygen-w/ India Arie & Sojourner

Chris Rock Show –w/Spoken-Word Performance Artists, Saul Williams

Good Morning America – w/Kanye West

 

For Bookings- Contact: Nioka-P.O.Box 20436 NYC 10025 niokakworkman@gmail.com (609) 388-1580.  www.niokakworkman.com.