Born: November 16, 2000 Primary Instrument: Cello
NIOKA WORKMAN cellist
A DISTINCT VOICE …
Nioka Workman is an active among force of innovative cellists forging new frontiers for string players. Drawing on the “genius” of celebrated bassists and family members, uncle Arthur Harper and father, Reggie Workman, Nioka has a developed a powerful, original style of her own.
“My Heart is in analyzing sound, music and concepts and how things are structured.”
And so it is with this music “deconstructionist.” 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 R& B collaborations with India Arie and Joe; Hip-Hop collabs and extensive tours with Spoken-Word artist, Saul Williams; Singers J.D. Walters, Helga Davis and gracing the stage with such music illuminaries as Kanye West, Jay-Z and Common at the Pepsi Smash Festival.
Constantly seeking new challenges, Nioka often works with conceptualists and performance artists. Her credits include solos with the Uptown String Quartet at the Kennedy Center , multi-instrumentalist Kali Z, Cooper Moore’s Keyboard Project at the Son D’Hiver Festival 2008; Hemisphere by conceptualist Anthony Davis. Jazz performances with Avery Brooks/Craig Harris (Harlem Gatehouse) and Reggie Workman’s African-American Legacy Project.
Nioka primarily performs as a soloist but isn’t afraid to step out as a leader.
Her new band, a fusion of jazz/funk and beyond, has recently exploded onto the scene, displaying her organized to “out of control” style of music making. On the string front, Nioka co-founded Firey String Sistas!, a Jazz chamber ensemble that creates originals and arrangements that defy any traditional notion of strings.
An ongoing affair …
Besides her love of music, Nioka also has an ongoing love affair with dance and movement. Her passion has lead to various commissions of her work by numerous dance companies including the Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey collaborations with Michael Wimberly and solos with the Errol Grimes Dance Company. Her work has premiered at such tony venues as the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors the Rush Arts Gallery and Blue Heron Theater. Her work on Woomen, a work based on women and rituals by dancer/choreographer, Marlies Yearby has lead to the co-founding of Woomen Moves by Nioka and Yearby. The company designed to provide self- empowering workshops and retreats for women is evolving towards a practice of healing workshops through sound and movement.
To whom so much is given …
Overall, Nioka’s passion for the cello and it’s evolution keeps her busy extending into the future. Nioka Workman is “passing the baton” to the next generation with Loft Arts Productions, an artist residency programs and E Jam Services, a home business created to mentor young people by creating internships with entrepreneurs.
Contact: Nioka-P.O.Box 20436 NYC 10025 firstname.lastname@example.org (646) 580-2291
NIOKA WORKMAN - cellist (cont.)
RECORDINGS Acoustic Soul - India Arie (Motown) Better Days - (Jive)
FESTIVALS Son D’Hiver, 2008 (France) Cooper-More Project Pepsi Smash Festival, 2007 (USA) Kanye West
DANCE The Joffrey Ballet Leslie Parker Dance Woomen Moves, Marlies Yearby Errol Grimes Dance Company at City Center � Performed a rare score for cello, percussion and voice in 2007 Nioka Workman Jazz & Dance Company
THEATER Venus Project (By Lori Parks & Lori Evans) a play about South Africa’s Saartis Bartman. Harlem Duet (Janet Sears) a slight twist on Shakespeare’s Othello
COMMISSIONS Marlies Yearby’s Woomen, a work based on women and rituals Echoing Women/Jennifer Chin 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