Short Biography Nikki Matheson

Nikki Matheson was born in Toronto to a French-Canadian mother and Scottish father but the bi-lingual, musically omnivorous household soon relocated to the greater New York area. After attending university in the USA and France, she was drawn into the Manhattan folk scene where, mentored by Dave Van Ronk and jazz-diva Janet Lawson, she honed her instrumental chops on piano, guitar, Irish pennywhistle and bass clarinet, refined her vocal and songwriting skills, and performed along side other up-and-coming musicians (Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Christine Lavin, Richard Shindell). She was soon touring the USA, Canada, Europe and Japan with assorted bluegrass, new acoustic and swing jazz ensembles, notably with Rhythm and Romance, a band she formed with banjoist Akira Satake. Following formal voice and production studies, a move to Paris led to collaborations with Gabriel Yacoub, who had just re-formed his seminal 70s-era folk-rock group, Malicorne, chanson legend Georges Moustaki and art-rocker CharElie Couture, among others.

Nikki MathesonFrom 1997-2000, Nikki was employed by the Norwegian Concert Institute in a program designed to instruct youngsters in English and the history of American traditional music. She sang the role of “Guinevere” on “Excalibur” (Sony -- 1999), an ambitious, Gold-selling project featuring Breton icons Tri Yann and Dan Ar Braz, along with Rodger Hodgson (of SuperTramp), Fairport Convention, Didier Lockwood, several other major acts, and the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Meanwhile, she composed original scores, penned English lyrics for Indonesian sensation Anggun, Blues-singer Nanette Workman, sat in on Irish singer Susan McKeown’s “Bushes And Briars”, and contributed a track to the Parents’ Choice Silver-Medal-winning “Celtic Dreams” CD (Ellipsis Arts - 2004). Now a resident of Vermont, she recently earned a Masters’ Degree, teaches French at a local university, and performs regularly, opening for the likes of Patrick Street or sitting in with The Klezmatics.

written by Christina Roden