Bio

NIOKA WORKMAN is an innovative cellist from a family of celebrated bassists; uncle Arthur Harper (J.J. Johnson) and  father Reggie Workman (John Coltrane). She has a distinct, original sound and style of her own performing regularly on acoustic and electric cello. Nioka is very experienced in many disciplines. She has credits in music, dance, performance art, theater and television. Most recently Nioka has a featured interview in Chris Becker's  book; The Freedom of Expression. Having recorded with several artist including most recently with her Firey String Sistas!, Nioka has recording credits with NeoSoul and R&B artists India Arie, DJ Rogers and Joe. She has toured throughout Europe and the USA appearing on Canal + and the Chris Rock Show promoting a Sony Music CD by spoken-word artist Saul Williams. They also performed at the world famous Montreaux Jazz Festival with Live Human, Ronnie Size, Nikka Costa, Blackalicious , Michael Franti/Spearhead. Very familiar with urban forms, Nioka joined a mini tour with Kanye West, Jay-Z and Common performing at a Pepsi Smash Festival. November- January 2016-17, Nioka was the cellist for the all female band led by Georgia Stitt in The New Group's  Off Broadway revival of Sweet Charity. In 2015, Nioka created musical sketches for the Mingus Takes readings directed by Talvin Wilkes and for Goree Crossing by Paul Carter Harrison. She performs regularly in a one man show with singer Artuo Padilla and pianist Dan Furman. Nioka also appeared at Hudson Opera House with John Kelly's 'Escape Artist'. Nioka's chamber and orchestral experiences include performances with the New York Women's Ensemble, Art of Memory by Kitty Brazzleton, Opera Ebony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Trilogy Opera Company, the Avery Brooks/Craig Harris Project (Harlem Gatehouse), Cassandra Wilson’s Traveling Miles Orchestra (Chicago/Lincoln Center) , David Murray’s ‘A Salute to Duke Ellington’ Orchestra, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra and a featured Jazz solo with the Uptown String Quartet at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Jazz and new music groups have included Anthony Braxton, Anthony Davis/Molissa Fenley’s‘Hemisphere’, Butch Morris Conductions, and recording/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, Saturday Night Live and in the soundtrack for the Maid of Manhattan. Nioka studies the moving body connected to sound. In 2013, Nioka received the American Composer’s Forum Award/Live Music for Dance  to  create an electronic score for “Malignant” by Thread’s Dance Co. director Karen Charles, performances in Minneapolis and Atlanta. More commissions of Nioka's music include compositions for the Joffrey Experience, Alvin Ailey ll and solos with the Errol Grimes Dance Company. Her work has premiered at the Joyce Theater, Late Nite in Minneapolis, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Rush Arts Gallery, Blue Heron Theater, Symphony Space and Martha Graham Studios. Nioka has worked extensively with Rent choreographer, Marlies Yearby. Her work on “Woomen” evolved into  healing, sound and movement workshops. Nioka  performs regularly with her Firey String Sistas! As a producer, she creates a yearly season for female string improvisors at the Firey Strings Company. She is dedicated to 'giving back' community. She has begun to create a library of new works, arrangements, CDs and workbooks through the Firey Strings Company. Nioka’s passion for the cello, it’s evolution and endless possibilities 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, additional studies at the New School Jazz and Suzuki Certification from School for Strings in New York.

 


 

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