top of page


Nik is co-founder and Artistic Director of On Board Arts street theatre company, and plays drums and percussion with The Baghdaddies and Honeyflux

Nik has had the honour of performing alongside many fantastic musicians and groups, including Nitin Sawhney, Byron Wallen, Pete Lockett, Snowboy, Bloco Afro Muzenza do Reggae, Trans Express, Mestre Jair Rezende, Naçao do Maracatu Port Rico, and AfroReggae.


His TV and radio credits include work for the BBC Radio 3, Channel 4 UK, China Central TV (CCTV), Rede Bahia Brazil, and SBTV.

If jerry Dammers and Terry Hall had grown up listening to world music, The specials might have sounded very like the Baghdaddies.

Nigel Williamson – Uncut Magazine

The band have a particular flair for the Balkans and capture its frenetic energy and flamboyance wonderfully. There is also a fair share of klezmer, jazz, ska and punk – an anarchic fusion where Ivo Papasov meets The Clash meets The Beat

Songlines Magazine

“Tear Us Apart” by Honeyflux: utterly magnificent music that makes for an incredibly impressive debut.


Nik specialises in teaching Afro-Brazilian percussion to groups of all ages and ability levels. His sessions comprise primarily of original music inspired by the Brazilian carnival tradition and the music of Candomblé. He has led groups in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, China, and Brazil.

In 2017, Nik travelled to Brazil with Jack Drum Arts to take part in carnival in Pernambuco with the renowned Maracatu group Naçao Porto Rico, who were crowned carnival champions that year. In 2020 he organised a cultural exchange between DrumDin and carnival groups in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. Working in partnership with Belgian percussion group "Afro Kata", Nik led a multi-national group of percussionists from the UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Brazil, and Colombia as they performed during carnival in Pelourinho. They also studied with various masters including Mestre Mario Pam (Ilê Aiyê), Mestre Eden Gordo (Cortejo Afro), and Mestre Mario (Muzenza do Reggae), featured on Bahia state TV with the Tambores do Mundo project, and paraded with Bloco Afro Muzenza do Reggae, one of the oldest and most respected blocos in Bahia, on the main carnival circuit in Salvador.

Nik has also worked with community theatre projects, facilitating the composition of original music as live accompaniment to theatre and dance. He worked as musical director of Mongrel UK,in partnership with Sage Gateshead and North of England Refugee Service, composing the scores for several of their productions and facilitating the creation of original music by the project participants. He has also composed music for TheatreTrain in London, which was performed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of their production "Voices For a Better World".


  • Honeyflux - Tear Us Apart (single)

  • Edd Carr - Make Do & Mend (single)

  • Baghdaddies - Bykerumba

  • Baghdaddies - 20 Years Hard Labour

  • Backyard Rhythm Orchestra - My Agricultural Laundrette (single)

  • Backyard Rhythm Orchestra - Funkus The Boogieman (single)

  • Backyard Rhythm Orchestra - Under The Counter Culture

  • King Bee - King Bee

  • The States - Judy

  • Joe Taylor - The Other Side

  • Northern Monkey Brass Band - High On Life

  • Principle 3 - Gong Step

  • Soznak - Dear Dad Tango

  • Banda Odarah - Alegria Pra Vida

  • DrumDin - Dd1

Nordestinos - Trimdon Grange
The Conference
The Baghdaddies - WorKids Orchids
Nordestinos - Blaydon Races

Current Community Projects

  • Musical Director - DrumDin
    Nik became Musical Director of DrumDin in 2011. The group is a fully open community project and currently has over 40 members of all ages and ability levels. They are entirely funded by performance revenue and in recent years have organised trips to Brazil and Belgium in order to study and perform. In 2020, 15 members of the group performed in Carnaval in Brazil, both on the main circuit with Bloco Afro Muzenza do Reggae, and performing their own music in Pelourinho

  • Musical Director/Mentor - Whitley Bay Big Noise
    Nik was invited by Whitley Bay Big Local to create Whitley Bay Samba in 2013 . After teaching the group himself for 5 years, he offered the role of leader to Callum Dyer, one of his young students. Nik now works alongside him in sessions as a mentor, allowing Callum to develop as a composer and leader while ensuring the quality of delivery remains at a high standard. Sessions are funded by Creative Civic Change.

  • Associate Artist - Jack Drum Arts
    Nik has worked with Jack Drum Arts since 2013 on a wide range of community music projects. He was instrumental in the creation of their Brazilian percussion group, Runaway Samba, and musically directed the project in it's early stages. Alongside this, he currently trains their team to deliver percussion workshops through CPD sessions and a mentoring scheme similar to his project in Whitley Bay, as well as working as a facilitator and performer at various events

  • Composer/Percussion Lead - Nordestinos
    This project is a partnership between Jack Drum Arts and DrumDin to create a large-scale carnival bloc in North-East England, inspired by the music and dance of the Blocos Afros found in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. Working with a team of musicians and dancers, Nik is creating music which combines references to life in Tyne & Wear and the strong creative and industrial heritage found there with Afro-Brazilian Candomblé and Samba Reggae music

  • Select Performances & Tours

    • Bloco Afro Muzenza do Reggae - Carnaval da Bahia, Salvador Brazil 2020

    • On Board Arts - Facebook HQ, Dublin Ireland 2019

    • Baghdaddies - Tedx event, Gateshead UK 2019

    • Baghdaddies European Tour, Netherlands/Germany/Denmark 2018

    • Naçao do Maracatu Porto Rico - Carnaval do Recife, Brazil 2017

    • Baghdaddies - Shakespeare’s Globe, London UK 2016

    • Jack Drum Arts - European Parliament, Brussels Belgium 2015

    • Baghdaddies - Glastonbury Festival, UK 2015, 2017

    • DrumDin - Rugby World Cup, UK 2015

    • NWSI - Tula City Day, Russia Sept 2014

    • Baghdaddies - Boomtown Fair, Winchester UK 2014, 2016, 2018

    • Spark! - T20 Circket Series UK 2014

    • NWSI - Haifa Theatre Festival, Israel 2014

    • Spark! - Formula 1 GP, Bahrain 2014

    • Dansformation - Durham Cathedral, UK 2013

    • Dogan Mehmet - BBC Radio 3 Stage Womad Festival UK 2013

    • Spark! - Everton FC end of season awards, Liverpool UK 2013

    • NWSI - World Expo, Yeosu Republic of Korea 2012

    • Lulu James - House of St. Barnabas, London UK 2012

    • NWSI - Hampyeong Butterfly Festival, Republic of Korea 2012

    • NWSI - Natural History Museum, London UK 2012, 2013

    • Principle 3 - Royal Academy of Arts, London UK 2012

    • NWSI - Arab Games, Doha Qatar 2011

    • Snowboy & Principle 3 - Gateshead Old Town Hall, UK 2011

    • NWSI - Edinburgh Festival Fringe UK 2010, 2012

    • NWSI - Hi Seoul Festival, Republic of Korea 2011

    • TheatreTrain - Royal Albert Hall, London 2010

    • AfroReggae - South Bank Centre, London May 2010

    • NWSI - Nice Carnival & Bataille De Fleurs 2010

    • NWSI - Hala February, Kuwait City, Kuwait 2010

    • Monster Productions 'Garden of Dreams' - UK/Ireland tour 2009

    • NWSI - Chinese New Year/Spring Carnival – Beijing, China 2009

    • NWSI - Dancing In The Streets Festival – St Louis, Missouri, USA 2008

    • NWSI - Barcelona Merce – Barcelona, Spain 2008

    • Afoxé Loni - Carnival Of Cultures – Berlin, Germany 2007

    • Nitin Sawhney, Northern Sinfonia 'Anthem For Northumberland - Hall One Sage Gateshead UK 2006

    • Ebony Steelband - Notting Hill Carnival – London UK 2004, 2005

    • Steel Quake - Opening of The Sage Gateshead, UK 2004

    • Big World Sing - MetroRadio Arena – Newcastle UK 2004

    • The Big Bang – Millenium Dome, London UK 2000

    bottom of page