Born in Fredricksburg VA, raised in Montgomery County MD and Raleigh NC to a family of black southern ministers, Nikki Glaspie is anything but your typical, pious southern belle. When most girls her age were having tea party’s, at the tender age of 8, Nikki was the full time drummer for her church. It was there that Nikki honed her skills, began to develop her own unique style of drumming, and fell in love with performing. Learning to play alongside her mother, who was on keys, Nikki G’s musical education began in the home, listening, mimicking, and imagining.
Steadfastly pursuing her career as a performance artist, Nikki moved to Boston, Ma in 2001 to pursue her dream of playing, creating, and communicating through music. Nikki made Boston her own; Fitting snugly some where between the walls of Berklee College of music and the small, cramped walls of one of Boston’s most famous jazz clubs, Wally’s. Albeit, Berklee College provided the academic and theoretical aspects necessary to any artists formation, it was at Wally’s that Nikki was able to forge unique student-teacher-friend relationships with local and world renowned artists to soon make a name for herself. The magic of Wally’s is found in its cramped quarters seeped in American jam-band tradition. With it’s Appollo-esque, ‘sink or swim’ atmosphere, Nikki was able to put her drumming and performance skills to the test, proving she could ‘hang with the baddest cats’ in the area.
During her four years in Boston, Nikki G also had the honor of playing with some of the most talented artists around including Andre Ward, State Radio, Ceelo, Pharoe Monch, Dave Fuczyinski, Me’Shell Ndgeocello, Maceo of De La Soul, Vernon Reid of Living Colour, Brenda Russell, Greg Phillagaines, just to name a few. Nikki’s reputation for providing solid sticks grabbed the attention of Zildjian, the cymbal and drumstick manufacturer, quickly signing Nikki for a cymbal endorsement in 2003.
It is evident from the numerous notable performances that Nikki’s remarkable chops and universal appeal make her the perfect compliment to any style of music. After years of providing the grooves for other artists, Nikki has several of her own projects. Nikki has been fortunate enough to play frequently at the New Orleans Jazz Fest with the likes of Soulive, Karl Denson, G Love & the Special Sauce, Melvin Sparks, Russell Baptiste, Ivan Neville, Dumpstafunk, The North Mississippi All Stars, Big Sam’s Funky Nation,George Porter of the Meters and the list goes on…..
Nikki G’s musical prowess extends farther than the drums, she excels both in front of and behind in the scenes in areas such as composing, arranging and producing
Alongside singer/songwriter, Adam Joseph, whose vocal styling an be described as a cross between Erykah Badu and Ben Harper, Nikki G co founded the production company, The Elegant Children. In 2003 she was executive producer and co-produced Adam Joseph’s debut album, How I Seem to be.
In 2006 Nikki returned from a full scale European tour with rising ‘rebel-soul’ sensation, Martin Luther. Shortly after her return Nikki was chosen to be a member of Beyonce’s new all female band! Nikki G. played her first BET Awards show in June, 2006, followed by a full-scale Worldwide tour with Beyonce in 2007. After traveling the world with the biggest Superstar in the world, Nikki returned home to her roots.
Touring the US with the Sam Kininger band and several other artists including Zaira, Jennifer Hartswick, Joi, Cody Chestnutt and Igmar Thomas & the Cypher.
Nikki Glaspie also plays on several tracks of the Beyoncé Album "4"
(“Party”, “Love on Top”, “I Care” and the bonus track “Lay Up Under Me”),
Nikki has also performed with Chaka Kahn, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Destiny’s Child and George Michael.