Nioka at work with bow in hand weaves a legacy of Jazz and improvised roots into a sensual, soulful voice for acoustic and electric cello. Her music and artistry leaves audiences in the USA and abroad wanting to hear more. Her new works for performance artists will be unveiled this year.
'Woomen' and Beauty 'n the Media directed by Marlies Yearby, music by Nioka will be shown in NYC and Boston 2005.
The Nioka Trio will be working on new CDs this year. Nioka's current CD Traces, is on sale at the New Direction's Cello Festival/Cello City store (at cost) and online here.
Nioka's multimedia company NTDA will present two new works: "HR2," directed by Maria Mitchell, production by Bayo; and a love story based on male prostitution, AIDS, HIV featuring MC NapoleonSolo and Wanjiru.
Other works of NTDA have been featured at Williamsburg Music Center, Ethical Culture Society (Historical Portrait I), Lincoln Center (The Healer) and University of Massachusetts (Rituals).
Nioka is co-founder of the hot jazz ensemble Sojourner. She composes and arranges unique works for strings. String Summit I featuring Sojourner & Kelvyn Bell has premiered Nioka's Tangled Tresses. (Time Out, Andante-reviews sojournerstrings.com) Sojourner's new CD will be on sale Fall 2005.
In 1999, Nioka began to compose music for dance. She wrote three tone portraits based on a story of a Chinese-American family for choreographer Jennifer Chin. She has written music for Omega Dance Company and Alvin Ailey II in collaboration with Micheal Wimberly.
Nioka tours with many artists such as Saul Williams, Gino Sitson, Reggie Workman, L'Afric Guard, Woom, HR2, Daniel Beatty, Greg Osby/Bobby Previtte, Tiye Jeraud's "Hoss Hed Ju Ju," Sojourner and Nioka Trio, playing acoustic, electric cellos and vocals. She has appeared in the Montreaux Jazz Festival with Live Human & Ronnie Size and USA Sno-Core tour with Nikka Costa, Blackalicious and Micheal Franti/Spearhead.
She has performed with many orchestras and ensembles, such as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Cassandra Wilson's "Traveling Miles" orchestra, Mark Batson live, David Murray's "A Salute to Duke Ellington" orchestra, D.D. Jackson's "Celebrate Brooklyn" orchestra and Kitchen House Blend.
Nioka has appeared on "Saturday Night Live" and Oxygen with India.Arie, the Chris Rock Show, Canal+ (France) with Saul Williams, "Live at the Apollo" with Brian Mcknight. Nioka's film credits include "I Believe In You and Me" (Whitney Houston/video), "Lulu on the Bridge" (live/soundtrack), "The American Experience" and "Flag Wars" (PBS soundtrack), "Maid in Manhattan" (Jennifer Lopez).
Her recording credits include, Beyoncé's "Dangerously in Love," Jessica Simpson's "Sweetest Sin," Amethyst Rock Star (Saul Williams / Sony Records), Symbols of Light ( Greg Osby / Blue Note Records), Acoustic Soul (India.Arie/Motown Records), D.J. Rogers "Wonderful, Beautiful, Amazing," Better Days (Joe/Motown Records) and Sojourner (SAC 2005).
Nioka is dedicated to community and 'giving back' what she has received. She 'passes the baton' to a new generation of musicians at the Noel Pointer Foundation and to students and audiences through workshops and training programs. She is creating a library of new works, arrangements, CDs and workbooks published by Mango Girl Publications.