Firey String Sistas! is a highly intuitive and energetic ensemble that provides a refreshing alternative to the standard jazz band. Since 2011, the group has been committed to pushing the boundaries of string playing, ensemble sound, and improvisation. The Sistas present compelling performances that incorporate aspects of women’s culture, original compositions, American songbook standards, world music, and jazz. The ensemble is composed of founder and cellist Nioka Workman, violinist Marlene Rice, bassist Melissa Slocum, vocalist/pianist Mala Waldron, and percussionist Camille Gainer-Jones.
Since the release of their album, That’s What She Said, in November 2016, the Firey String Sistas! have been performing for local audiences in their native New York City, to great public acclaim. Each one of these women is a talented artist in her own right, with performance credits including Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Common, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Jennifer Holliday, Jazzmeia Horn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Steve Turre, Lea DeLaria, Lonnie Liston Smith, Roberta Flack, Chuck Mangione Cyndi Lauper, Alicia Keys, and appearances on Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live. The group’s individual credits, however, pale in comparison to the effect of the Sistas all playing together. Hrayr Attarian, writing for Chicago magazine, wrote a statement on the group that could not be more accurate: “[The Firey String Sistas! are] five supremely talented musicians…sophisticated, poignant and erudite…a wide appeal.”
Firey String Sistas!
“an interesting mix of jazz, classical and world styles that shows the potential of stringed instruments in “extra-cultured contexts,” but above all the strength, beauty and creativity of women in music.” ~ Drumset Magazine