Nicki Parrott, an internationally acclaimed bassist, arrived in New York in May of 1994, the recipient of a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts allowing her travel to the US and study with her mentor, one of the world’s premiere double bassists, Rufus Reid. In the same year she was also nominated for the “Australian Young Achievers Award”.
Today, Nicki Parrott is a world-class double bassist and an emerging singer/songwriter. In her work with artists from around the globe she has brought a signature sound to every bass part she has played. She performs regularly at the world’s best Jazz Festivals and can be seen Monday’s at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City with the legendary guitarist and inventor, Les Paul. Since June of 2000, this union has been an ideal showcase for her musical abilities, flair for improv, and gift for entertaining a crowd.
Born in Newcastle, Australia, Nicki Parrott began her musical training on the piano at the age of four. She also took up the flute and continued to play both instruments throughout her school years. At the age of 15, Nicki switched her focus to the double bass, formed a band with her older sister Lisa (alto sax) and began composing instrumental pieces that they would eventually record for their premier CD release, The Awabakal Suite (2001).
After completing high school, Nicki moved to Sydney and attended the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, where she graduated with an Associates degree in Jazz Studies. When bassists such as the legendary Ray Brown (Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson) and John Clayton (Diana Krall, Whitney Houston) were playing in town, Nicki would find them, contact them and arrange lessons from them. She was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Pan Pacific Music Camp, and soon after, took first place in the 1992 Jazz Action Society's Annual Song Competition for her composition, Come and Get It.
In 1990, Nicki began touring Australia with Russian musicians Daniel Kramer and Alexander Fischer playing sold out shows across the country. This was followed by successful tours with American trumpeters Bobby Shew and Chuck Findley. When she was off the road, Nicki was consistently playing bass with other world-renowned jazz musicians like New Zealand’s Mike Nock (piano), Australia's Dale Barlow (tenor sax), Paul Grabowsky (piano), Bernie McGann (alto sax) and the explosive Ten Part Invention.
In May of 2002, The Nicki and Lisa Parrott Quartet headlined the prestigious Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival held at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The show was broadcast on NPR and was well received by the press. She was also the resident bassist with the Kitchen House Blend, a house band that premiered and performed new music from local New York composers. They would blend jazz, hip-hop, classical and rock in one evening...“It was a very creative experience”.