Tim Kiah is a Brooklyn-based composer, vocalist, and bassist. He has been commissioned by Chamber Music America, Lincoln Center, La Mama Theatre, the Washington Square Winds, the Gusto Chamber Players, and the Northern Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra in Newcastle, England. His works have been premiered at venues such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and have been broadcast on NPR. He is a member and composer of The Chelsea Symphony.
Upon moving to New York, Kiah, a registered nurse, formed a group called Nurse Kaya in an effort to emphasize the healing nature of music. Comprised of a string quintet with players from the Eastman and Juilliard Conservatories, Nurse Kaya composed as a collective. As part of the group's mission to bring new music to diverse audiences, the ensemble performed in hospital attire in hospitals, nursing homes, community centers, universities, and prisons and were featured on WNYC and NPR.
Tim attended the Boston Boy Choir School in his youth where he performed with the likes of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa, and Leonard Bernstein. His studies brought him to the Eastman School of Music and City College where his principal teachers were composer David Del Tredici and double bassist Ron Carter.
As a vocalist, bass player, and arranger, Tim tours internationally. He performs many genres of music, including Americana, jazz, classical, and avant-garde. He has been heard on NPR, BBC, and NDR with various ensembles. Kiah is also a member of a group led by the iconic mandolinist and clarinetist Andy Statman, and has recorded and performed with Deborah Harry, Joan La Barbara, Jerry Douglas, Dan Zanes, and Lenny Kravitz. He leads a chamber ensemble called the Endangered Heart Quartet, comprised of saxophonist Roy Nathanson, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, and Grammy-nominated violinist Jesse Mills.
Tim works with students from early childhood to university. He is a teacher, composer, and arranger for Subway Moon, a non-profit organization that brings high school students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds together to create music and poetry. The organization conducts workshops and performances globally. He leads workshops for string orchestras, chamber ensembles, and conductors at the high school level. At the university level, he has led seminars in composition and improvisation at Bennington University and his alma mater, City College.
As an early childhood educator, Kiah incorporates storytelling and music fundamentals to children at a Head Start center in Brooklyn. In this role, he is known as Mr. Tim.