Nicki Parrott is an Australian jazz vocalist and double bassist originally from Newcastle, in the state of New South Wales, and now based in the United States.
Nicki arrived in New York in May 1994 on an Arts Council grant from Australia to study with the internationally acclaimed bassist, Rufus Reid. Since June 2000, Nicki has played on Monday nights at the Iridium Jazz Club with the legendary guitarist and inventor, Les Paul. Nicki and her sister, Lisa Parrott headlined at the prestigious Tribute to Mary Lou Williams festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in May 2002, which was broadcast on National Public Radio. She is also the resident bassist with the Kitchen House Blend which premieres and performs new music by New York composers.
Since coming to New York she has performed with such notable musicians as Clark Terry, Michel Legrand, Billy Taylor, Dick Hyman, Terri Thornton, Holly Hoffman, Diva, Marlena Shaw, Monica Mancini, Patrice Rushen, Skitch Henderson, the New York Pops Orchestra, Florida Pops Orchestra, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Warren Vache, Jr., Harry Allen, Red Holloway, Rebecca Paris, Kenny Davern, José Feliciano, Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, Bernard Purdie, John Tropea, David Krakauer, Howard Alden, Randy Sandke, Greg Osby, Jack Wilkins, Ken Peplowski, Johnny Frigo, Joe Wilder, Houston Person, Wycliffe Gordon, Rachel Z and Johnny Varro. Nicki has also performed in several Broadway shows such as Avenue Q, Imaginary Friends, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Summer of '42 and Jekyll and Hyde.
Nicki has performed at such major festivals in the USA as the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Jazz in July at the 92nd Street Y, Litchfield Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Overseas, she has performed at the Berlin Jazz Festival, the Cully Lavaux and the Ascona and Berne Jazz Festivals in Switzerland, the Edinburgh and Grimsby Jazz Festivals in the UK, the Krakow Music Festival in Poland, the Ottawa Jazz Festival in Canada, and various Australian festivals.
Born in Newcastle, Australia, Nicki started her musical training with the piano at the age of four, and soon after took up the flute as well. She continued to play flute and piano throughout her school years, but switched to double bass at the age of 15 because her sister Lisa, who plays alto sax, wanted a bassist for her group. After completing high school, Nicki moved to Sydney to study jazz at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music and shortly after began to play with well-known Australian musicians such as Mike Nock, Dale Barlow, Paul Grabowsky, Bernie McGann, and Ten Part Invention. She also toured Australia with Russian musicians Daniel Kramer and Alexander Fischer and American trumpeters Bobby Shew and Chuck Findley.
Nicki studied with various bassists in Australia, and when visiting bassists such as Ray Brown and John Clayton were in town, Nicki would take a lesson with them. She is also the recipient of two awards, the first being a scholarship to Pan Pacific Music Camps at the age of 16, and first place in the 1992 Jazz Action Society’s Annual Song Competition for her composition "Come and Get It", which is the opening track of Nicki and Lisa’s debut CD. She was also nominated for the annual Australian Young Achievers Award by the Arts Council of Australia who granted her the funds to head to New York to study with Rufus Reid.
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