Tiffany Nicely holds bachelors degrees in Percussion Performance and Music Theory/Composition
from the University of New Mexico. She received Masters Degrees in Music Theory and
Music Composition from SUNY Buffalo. Nicely continues her musical education by studying
percussion of Brazil, Cuba, West Africa, and Mexico. This includes private study with
master percussionist from foreign lands, and traveling whenever possible to learn
the music where it was created. In 2005 she traveled to Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.
There, she studied Bloco Afro, Candomble, and Samba Duro styles of drumming. In 2006,
Nicely studied marimba in the country of its origin, traveling to several cities in
Mexico. The winter of 2007-2008 took her to Guinea, West Africa to study balafon,
djembe and doun doun music.
An active performer, Nicely belongs to groups such as Maelstrom Percussion Ensemble
(jazz fusion), Diaspora Drum & Dance (traditional percussion and dance of the African
Diaspora), Lake Affect (music composed around text and visual art), and The Twelve
Eight Path Band (New Orleans-style street band). Her CD credits include: La Musica
de Silvestre Revueltas, Playing Guitart, Lou Harrison: Labyrinth, The Word Underneath,
Diaspora Drumming: Brazil, Cuba and West Africa, and Between Breathing.
Nicely has taught percussion and music theory at SUNY Fredonia since 2002. She also
teaches World Music Cultures at Buffalo State College. She has been a music teaching
artist with MUSE since 1999, and with the Arts in Education Institute of Western New
York since 2001. She is also a frequent school performer through Young Audiences of
Western New York.