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Nakeiltha "Nikki" Campbell is an extraordinary percussionist, educator and performing artist who travels promoting empowerment  through the celebration of African Culutural Heritage. Born in Colon, province of Panama  and raised in Los Angeles, California since her late teens  Nikki found that drumming reconnected her to her West African, Caribbean and Panamanian roots.  Embracing both beautiful, rich,  and diverse cultures . Drumming has been her vehicle to engage with and build community.  Her persistance, tenacity and creativity gained her entry into the music community.

 

 

As a  drummer who happens to be  a woman, in an art traditionally practice by men,  she is committed to supporting and encouraging women of all ages, to explore this art form (Documentary in the making called Las Tamboreras).  She considers herself fortunate to study and work with a wide variety of local and international artist such as Leon and JahAmen Mobley, Bakra Bata, Mamady Keita (T.T.M Drum School), Kahlil Cummings of Balandugu Kan,  Robertito Melendez latin percussion school.  She received an award  to continue her studies in  the arts of  West African Drumming with Aboubakar Kouyate with

the Alliance for California Traditional Arts in partnership with the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Surdna Foundation.  She traveled to Cuba, Brazil and Guinea West Africa to broaden her knowledge and musical strength. She recorded in Guinea with Kahlil Cummings  first Album "Inike Baba" with Balandugu Kan. Her recording experience also includes african drums in the theme song  featured film "Let the games begin" produce by Aloe Blacc , as well for Kendrick Lamars track for his historic performance "Alright" at the Grammy Awards.  

 

Nikki has Toured with Les Amazones "The Women Master Drummers of Guinea", Viver Brasil dance company, Adaawe, and The Rebirth. Also Performed with world renowed artist Stevie Wonder, Lila Downs, Jose Gonzales, Miguel Atwood Ensemble, Candy Sosa , Dr. Martha Gonzales of Quetzal . She Performed at the NAACP Image Awards with Will I AM, the 53rd Grammy Award with Rihanna, American Idol with Janelle Monae & Jidenna, and in Shakira (music video Waka Waka). Addtionally, recorded an percussion ensemble instructional  video with Kids for Sesame Street for Latin Heritage Month. Performed for the World Culture KCET Women in Jazz celebration and the 4th and 5th Annual Palm Springs Woman Jazz Festival.  Nikki has traveled to Panama to teach West African Drum clinics at Danilo Perez Jazz Foundation, Arnold Walters Foundation, and La Escuelita del Ritmo.  She taught and performed  at the 4th and 5th annual Festival De Percussion Centro Americano and at the 13th  annual Panama Jazz Festival.

 

Drummed for  the West African Dance class at UCLA World Arts and Culture.

Drummed for classes and performed for the Dance/Performing Arts summer institute at UCLA .  

Currently she perfoms with the world-class band on Estrella TV night show host  Noches con Platanito.  

 

In 2015, Nikki started Bridges of power (Puentes De Poder) a movement that reflects and works for he endurance of art across time, geaographies, politics, societal norms and other divisive boundaries. By focusing on connecting artistis and communities  of the African diaspora through music. Sharing the similarities and respecting the differences by using the power of the drums to gather and celebrate. Please click on the Icon above named Projects to see the work abroad in Panama and Costa Rica.

 

 

 

 

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