Nicki Parrott – Bassist & 2018 Hot Club Dream Camp Instructor

Nicki Parrott

Bassist and 2018 Hot Club Dream Camp Instructor, Nicki Parrott, takes a moment to chat with us.

CBMF: Tell us about your musical roots.
Nicki Parrott: I grew up in a town 2 hours north of Sydney, Australia. As a child I played classical piano and flute. When I was around 15, my sister (who played saxophones) formed a band and she needed a bass player for her band. I wanted to be in the band, so I picked up an acoustic bass from school and taught myself how to play it.

CBMF: What are you listening to right now?
NP: I always listen to a wide variety of music, mostly on the road where I am most of my time these days. I like listening to a lot of singers from a wide range of styles, jazz to R&B to Brazilian music. Recently I’ve enjoyed listening to Gregory Porter, Donny Hathaway, Ella Fitzgerald and Elis Regina.

CBMF: Who is your dream collaborator?
NP: I love playing with seasoned musicians from all styles of music. There’s always so much to learn from the older masters. I would love to work with Tommy Emmanuel. He used to sit in with Les Paul and he plays with so much passion and intensity. I would also love to work with Monty Alexander.

CBMF: Who had the most significant impact on your musical taste as a child and teenager?
NP: My sister would bring home cassette tapes and records of all kinds of music. I listened to a lot of Miles Davis as a teenager, as well as Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong and local Sydney bands. I also listened to a lot of pop music of the day.

CBMF: Which musicians do you consider your greatest influences today?
NP: Les Paul was a huge influence on me because I had the good fortune of working with him every Monday night at the Iridium in NYC for 10 years. He knew a lot about sound and putting on a good show. Also, I had a lesson with Ray Brown when I was 22 years of age, and he taught me a lot. I transcribed many Paul Chambers bass lines and solos when I was younger as well.

CBMF: What drew you to gypsy jazz?
NP: One word, Django. I still cannot believe the sound he gets from his guitar and the feeling he puts into his playing. Also, playing many times over the years with Frank Vignola inspired me.

CBMF: If not gypsy jazz, what kind of music would you make?
NP: I am currently on the road in Europe with a project that combines Mambo and Tango music mixed with Jazz, so I play music from a wide spectrum. As long as it’s musical and with good players, I’m happy to play it!

CBMF: What fact about you most surprises people?
NP: I’m a good cook, but that is probably not so surprising, because most musicians I know are good cooks.

CBMF: What was your earliest ambition?
NP: I think I always wanted to be a musician. My earliest and happiest memories were when I was playing music in marching bands and concert bands.

CBMF: Where do you find inspiration?
NP: Seeing people smile and react to what you are doing on stage. It’s a privilege to perform for an audience.

CBMF: Describe your rehearsal routine.
NP: I try to learn the lyrics and melody to a song and then the chord changes and take it from there.

CBMF: How do you prepare for a performance?
NP: I like to take a nap. It refreshes me and I like to stay hydrated. I make sure my music is in order and I like to have an idea of what I might say to the audience that night.

CBMF: If you had a time machine, what concert would be your first stop?
NP: Hmmm…not sure. I have to thank about that one..

CBMF: What song would you love to cover/rearrange?
NP: Anything by Stevie Wonder.

Catch Nicki on the mainstage at CBMF this summer, or join her and other gypsy jazz masters for a week of instruction and jamming at the 2018 Hot Club Dream Camp!

Check out these upcoming shows featuring Nikci Parrott:

Gypsy Jazz Goes South: Hot Club in Latin and South America
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 8:00 PM
Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO
Tickets $35.00

Gypsy Jazz Tribute to Stephane Grappelli and Les Paul w/ Nicki Parrot and Jason Anick
Sunday, July 29, 2018 8:00 PM
Crested Butte Center for the Arts, Crested Butte, CO
Tickets $35.00

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