NIOKA WORKMAN is one of the most creative and innovative cellists performing today. Her musical experiences and formidable history are the foundation of her identifiable sound and style. Accomplished on both acoustic and electric cello, Nioka's experiences have inspired collaborations from diverse disciplines. Born into a family of esteemed musicians - her uncle bassist Arthur Harper and her celebrated father, bassist Reggie Workman, Nioka continues to live up to her musical DNA. Ms. Workman performs and records with many notable Jazz composers such as Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman and Greg Osby. Her credits in recording and television includes appearances on Oxygen, Good Morning America , Saturday Night Live with Grammy award winning artist India Arie, Beyonce and Joe. Nioka has toured throughout Europe and USA joining a mini tour with Kanye West, Jay-Z and Common. Nioka's father gave her a cello at age 10. Her formal training began at the New Muse in Brooklyn. She continued to study music diligently at Henry Street Settlement and auditioned for the High School of Music & Art. During the summer she attended Interlochen music camp and trained with the All City High School Orchestra on weekends. Nioka has a Bachelor's degree in Classical Cello from Queens College with additional credits in composition and Jazz from the New School Jazz Program. In 2013 Nioka received an award from the American Composer's Forum, Live Music for Dance. Upon graduation from college, Nioka freelanced with several chamber and orchestral organizations including the New York Women's Ensemble, Opera Ebony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Trilogy Opera Company, Cassandra Wilson’s Traveling Miles Orchestra (Lincoln Center/Chicago), David Murray’s ‘A Salute to Duke Ellington’ Orchestra, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra and was a featured soloist with the Uptown String Quartet. In addition to freelancing, Nioka taught Suzuki Cello at several institutions including HSA, Queensborough College, Packer Collegiate and functioned as co music director at the Noel Pointer School of Music. Nioka is currently the co-founder of Music For the People (a company dedicated to providing music training and appreciation to people in underserved urban areas) and music director for Pre-School Rock offering Suzuki Cello and string ensemble classes. Recently Nioka performed as a soloist in the hit 2016-17 revival of Sweet Charity starring Sutton Foster at The Signature Theater on 42nd Street, NYC. Nioka is most proud of her own Jazz chamber ensemble she founded in 2011, the Firey String Sistas! The all female group of virtuosos has been performing to very receptive audiences in the northeastern United States. Their new CD release entitled That's What She Said has already been met with critical acclaim and will undoubtedly expand their fans to a nationwide audience. It is through The Firey Strings Company that Nioka is giving back to her community and realizing her vision of growth through music by creating events and workshops for string improvisors.
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