Yana performs regularly with guitarist/composer Cristian Perez and she is a featured member of his multicultural chamber/world music group, the Cristian Perez Quintet. In 2016, Perez’s CD entitled Anima Mundi featured her flute-playing prominently and spawned a tour covering multiple venues in South Korea, as well as three performances at the Bolivia Festijazz International.
In 2017, Yana recorded The Nightingale with composer and pianist Mark Christopher Brandt. The Nightingale features her along side master cellist, Katherine Colburn, performing music composed specifically for the both virtuosos in a programmatic piece based on the short story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. The Nightingale CD includes a piano/flute version of her own composition Up to You.
The collaboration with Mark Christopher Brandt moved Yana into a completely new level of musical expression as she was immediately enamored with his approach to composition, improvisation, and performance. The two musicians continue to work, perform, and record together, with multiple projects on their dockets for the future.
Not wanting to be labeled a classical or jazz musician, but simply a musician, Yana Nikol has worked to master music, and herself as a musician, rather than any particular style or repertoire. She makes it a point to embrace, enjoy, and jam with musicians seeking to share the beauty they possess within themselves and not simply the style or songs they have mastered.
In 2018, Yana realized a lifelong dream with the debut of her own group, Project LOCRÉA. The band, which features a diverse range of folk instruments and musicians from all corners of the musical spectrum, is built upon Yana’s desire to create music for listeners that is not based on any particular style or genre, but a combination of all the musicians in the group’s collective experiences. The founding members with Yana include Chao Tian, Chinese dulcimer; Maryam Dinparast Malone, tar; Cristian Perez, guitar; Daniel Brown, bass; and Juan Megna, percussion. Yana combined the words "love" and "creativity" to come up with the group’s name.
Yana celebrates life and her music without pretense or conceit. On the contrary, she is rapidly becoming one of the most-loved and favorably talked about artists in the Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia/Maryland tri-state area.