Founder, Director of the Jazz Programs
Clifton Anderson is considered one of the leading trombonists and composers performing in music today. Throughout his career Clifton has shared the stage and studio with a diverse array of musical luminaries - icons from; Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton, and Lester Bowie to Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards, Paul Simon, The Mighty Sparrow and Merv Griffin among others. He has performed on Broadway in "Dreamgirls" and "Nine" and was Artist In Residence at Duke University from 1999 -2001. Clifton was born in Harlem, New York City into a musical family and showed an affinity for music at an early age. At 7 yrs. old he received his first trombone from his uncle, Jazz Legend Sonny Rollins. Clifton attended the prestigious Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and is a graduate of The Manhattan School Of Music. Clifton recorded his first CD for Milestone records (now Concord) in 1997 entitled Landmarks. In 2009 Clifton released Decade on the DOXY/UNIVERSAL label. Decade garnered critical acclaim and led Clifton to a nomination for "Trombonist Of The Year" from The American Jazz Journalist Association. With the success of Decade Clifton left Sonny's group in 2009 to establish himself as a leader. Clifton's most recent offering And So We Carry On was voted "One Of The Top Jazz CD Releases Of 2012" by Jazz Inside Magazine & reached #4 on US Jazz radio, remaining in the top 20 for months. Clifton's live shows have followed the standard set by his recordings & he continues to play to very enthusiastic and appreciative audiences. Clifton showcases his stellar groups (quartet, quintet & sextet) interpreting a variety of swinging originals, high energy straight ahead, calypso, funk and American songbook standards.
Founder, Director of Firey Strings Company
Nioka Workman comes from a family of celebrated Jazz bassists. 'The world is your classroom', is a motto that took her around the world at a young age experiencing many different cultures, including a year Japan. She attended the High School of Music & Art, Interlochen and All City High School Orchestra as a teen. Upon graduation, she joined several professional organizations including the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Connecticut Grand Opera, New York Women's Ensemble, Opera Ebony and the Kitchen House Blend. Nioka is very comfortable with playing diverse style of music. Her performance credits include appearances with Jazz artists, actor Avery Brooks, Craig Harris, Cassandra Wilson, David Murray, the Uptown String Quartet ,Greg Osby, Steve Coleman and Cooper Moore. She has recording and television credits on Oxygen, Good Morning America, Saturday Night Live and Canal+ France. Her soundtrack credits are with Maid of Manhattan, PBS, Nickelodeon and on the CDs of R&B celebrities India Arie, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Joe, Kanye West, Jay-Z. With her own ensemble Firey String Sistas!, Nioka has co-produced the critically acclaimed independent CD; That's What She Said. Nioka has a BM degree in classical cello from Queens College, credits from the New School Jazz Program and Suzuki cello certification from the School for Strings. She has taught at HSA, Queensborough College, Brooklyn Conservatory, and as musical director at the Noel Pointer School of Music. Nioka is co-founder of Music For the People and founder of the Firey String Company.