Singer/Performer Nikki Armstrong began her performing career as a dancer and actress at age 11. She was inspired by the great jazz singers, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Peggy Lee as well as the great Soul and R&B artists, James Brown and Tina Turner, and finally in her late 20’s Nikki decided to commit to singing. She has studied music and voice in Boston, LA and New York, most notably with the great arranger Hal Schaefer (Peggy Lee, Marilyn Monroe). Writing and doing session work in Los Angles and Sydney, Australia for the first few years was fun, but it was live performing she craved and New York was the place to be. For the past 12 years Nikki has performed regularly all around the New York Tri-State area with her bands, Whole Lotta Blues and The Nikki Armstrong Project . As featured guest vocalist, she has performed and or recorded with such artists as Melvin Sparks (Acid Jazz Guitarist) and the Great Les Paul (Father of the Electric Guitar). As a voice coach for over 10 years, Nikki delivers performance workshops and singer showcases in the Tri-state area.
An important voice in the New York area Blues and Jazz scene Nikki was on the board of directors of the New York Blues & Jazz Society for over 8 years as Musician’s Liaison; coordinating, producing, and performing in successful Blues and Jazz events for venues such as Birdland in NYC, Sirius Radio as well as benefits for NOLA. In 2007 Nikki became a Deejay on the air with her own show Blues in the Grooves broadcasting every Wednesday afternoon on WFDU, 89.1FM from 1pm to 3:45pm. She also runs a weekly Blues Jam and has been doing so for the last 10 years. She has also hosted Jams around the Tri-state for the last 10 years.
Nikki has four independent CD releases and is working on another CD of all original material due to release in 2009. Her band Whole Lotta Blues is composed of Jason Green on guitar, Rob Chaseman on sax, A.J. Hager on bass, John McCann on drums and Juan Pertuz on percussion. Nikki and crew are all musically accomplished and perform everything from blues, funk, rock, soul, and pop covers, to jazz standards as well as originals. They can be seen most regularly at Lucille’s at BB Kings. Nikki Armstrong & Whole Lotta Blues have been the featured opening act for The Commitments, Joan Osborne, Dave Mason, Hubert Sumlin, Parliament Funkadelic, to name a few.
"The blues as Nikki sings them come mixed with jazz, pop, and folk rock, with a warm, rich contralto voice that she colors over a wide spectrum from intimate growls and passionate whispers to long haunting ballad lines, and a sparkling sense of fun!” – - Michael Lydon (Founding Editor Rolling Stone Magazine and Author, Ray Charles: Man and Music )
"Powerful/from the bottom of soul-filled song well with a serpents unpredictability, Nikki can sink her teeth into the skin of any style of song and make you want to get bit again." - Mister G, DJ 91.7FM WHUS Storrs, CT
"When I saw The Commitments earlier this year at BB King’s, the opening act was a band called Nikki Armstrong & Whole Lotta Blues, a dynamite little redhead with a great, big voice and a ton of stage presence (and great hair and great legs to boot) and her band is the poo - extremely tight, great groove." - From a fan
Other Places You Can Find Me:
In case you are wondering about the great photos on this page, most were taken by my friend Mike Wartell. Mike is a professional photographer who specializes in photographs of entertainers & live events. He is a member here and can be contacted through this site. Click: Mike Wartell.