NIKKI YANOFSKY is a 17-year-old musical prodigy. Since her debut at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival, where she won the hearts of the 100,000+ people in the audience, Nikki has never looked back.
At 13, she was the youngest singer ever on a Verve Records release with “Airmail Special,” released on the Ella Fitzgerald tribute album We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song. On her 14th birthday, she began collaborating with Marvin Hamlisch in a performance at Carnegie Hall, and continued on a North American tour performing with many esteemed orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra. She recorded “Stompin’ at the Savoy” with Grammy-winning artists Herbie Hancock and Will.i.am for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s audio book On the Shoulders of Giants. She even reached into the realm of pop music, recording “Gotta Go My Own Way” for Disney’s DVD release of their smash hit High School Musical 2 as well as recording the opening title for PBS’ current version of The Electric Company with renowned hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean. All of these performances culminated in the 2008 release Ella… Of Thee I Swing – a live CD/DVD package recorded in Montreal. Garnering critical acclaim and certified gold, it earned Nikki two Juno nominations: New Artist of the Year and Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.
Throughout her career, Nikki has used her budding fame to help the underprivileged, becoming an ambassador for the Montreal Children’s Hospital, The Children’s Wish Foundation, and MusiCounts. Nikki also recently joined her fellow Canadian artists in recording K’Naan’s hit song “Wavin’ Flag” for Young Artists for Haiti.
In 2010, Nikki was signed to Decca Records and released her first studio album, Nikki. The album debuted in Canada at No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart, No. 6 on the Billboard Pop Chart, and was certified gold within three months. In the United States, Nikki debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and continues to sell steadily. 2010 also saw the release of Nikki’s second live DVD, Live in Montreal. Upon its debut, Live in Montreal was certified gold and has garnered rave reviews.
In the summer of 2010, Nikki returned to the Canadian jazz festival circuit, including her fourth consecutive concert at the Montreal Jazz Festival. A highlight of the summer was an invitation to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival with Quincy Jones’ Global Gumbo All-Stars, where she shared the stage with jazz icon Herbie Hancock. The concert was filmed in HD, and is being planned for a 2011 release.
2010 closed in top form when iTunes worldwide named Nikki as the Vocal Jazz Album of the Year in their annual Rewind list. In 2011 Nikki reunited with Herbie Hancock during Grammy weekend in Los Angeles for a performance at the MusiCares Foundation Person of the Year gala, honoring Barbra Streisand.