In the past several years, we have been privileged to invite amazing artists-in-residence to be part of our HH Jazz Camp family. Even though they are not able to attend every summer, they left an incredible legacy with the students that they worked with. Here are some of our distinguished faculty alumni:
Nicki Parrott (bass/vocal)
Artist in Residence 2013-2021
Nicki Parrott (bass/vocal) was born in Newcastle, Australia, Nicki started her musical training at age four with the piano, followed by the flute, soon after. Nicki switched to double bass at the age of 15. Nicki was the recipient of two awards, 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 her sister Lisa’s debut CD, “Awabakal Suite”. She was also nominated for the annual Australian Young Achievers Award by the Arts Council of Australia who granted her the funds to come to New York to study with Rufus Reid. Nicki came to New York in May 1994.
In June 2000, Nicki began performing on Monday nights at the Iridium Jazz Club with the legendary guitarist and inventor, Les Paul. As part of the Les Paul Trio, Nicki worked side-by-side with guitar greats from Paul McCartney, Slash, Steve Miller to fellow Aussie, Tommy Emmanuel. Since then she has performed with such notable musicians as Michel Legrand, Joe Wilder, Randy Brecker, Clark Terry, Jose Feliciano, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Patti Labelle & the New York Pops Orchestra, Harry Allen, Marlena Shaw, David Krakauer, Ken Peplowski, Ann Hampton Callaway, Bill Mays, Scott Hamilton, Lillian Boutte, Larry Carlton and Houston Person, just to name a few.
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 and has made several television and documentary appearances including The Gossip Girls, Chasing Sound and Thank You Les, which recently debuted on PBS. Nicki has performed at most major festivals around the globe including the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Jazz in July at the 92nd Street Y, Litchfield Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and the Newport Beach Jazz Party, Jazz Ascona and Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland and many others.
Nicki actively participates in continuing musical education for women, helping them further their careers and remain active in music well beyond their teen years. She takes pride in teaching music to inner-city children, giving them opportunities to express creativity, encouraging them to stay actively involved with school, and opening up brighter options for the future. Nicki involvement has included programs such as: Women in Jazz, New York Pops: Create A Symphony and Musical Mentors, WBGO-FM & NJPAC’s Jazz for Teens, Hilton Head Jazz Camp and Litchfield Jazz Camp.
Jackson Evans (guitar)
Artist in Residence 2013-2019
Jackson Evans (guitar) was born in northern Utah and began playing guitar at the age of twelve. At fifteen, he attended a concert given by his first teacher, Corey Christiansen. Impressed by the performance, he decided to dedicate himself to a career as a jazz guitarist and in 2004 graduated with a BM in guitar performance from Utah State University.
After relocating to Savannah, Georgia in 2004, Jackson became known throughout the southeast as an in-demand bandleader, composer, arranger, accompanist and educator. In addition to organizing several regional tours he has performed in concert series and festivals including an appearance as a featured guest with David Lugo and Latin Jazz Motion at the 2008 Savannah Jazz Festival. In 2009, Jackson became a Benedetto Guitars endorsing artist and in 2010 went on to record his first solo album, Song Noir, featuring saxophonist Jody Espina as co-producer and performer.
In 2011 Jackson made a bold move to Mainland China with his with his wife, vocalist/bassist Maggie Evans. After leaving a strong impression at a local jazz club, the couple was invited in 2013 for a six month engagement as the featured performers at JZ Huanglou in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, one of China’s most prestigious jazz venues.
Charlton Singleton (trumpet)
Artist in Residence 2014-2016
A native of Awendaw, SC, Charlton Singleton began his musical studies at the age of three on the piano. He would then go on to study the organ, violin, cello, and the trumpet throughout elementary, middle and high school. In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from South Carolina State University. Since that time, he has taught music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as being an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston. In 2008 he co-founded and became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra; an 18 piece jazz ensemble of some of the finest professional musicians in the Southeast and the resident big band in Charleston, SC. Mr. Singleton is also the organist and choir director at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Charleston, SC. In November of 2016 he was named the inaugural Artist in Residence at the recently renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. He remained in this position until July 2019; at that point he was named Artist in Residence Emeritus. In this position he continues to lead the Summer Youth Jazz Orchestra Camp as well as lead the “Jazz Through the Ages” assembly, which attracts a capacity crowd of students at the Gaillard Center.
As a performer, Charlton leads his own ensembles that vary in size and style. He has performed in France, Great Britain, Scotland, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands, as well as many great cities throughout the United States. He is a founding member of a new ensemble called Ranky Tanky. The group is a quintet that interprets the sounds of Gullah from the Southeast Coast of the United States. In 2018 Ranky Tanky reached the top of the Billboard, iTunes, and Amazon Contemporary Jazz charts with their self-titled debut recording. In 2019 they accomplished the same feat with the release of their sophomore effort, “Good Time”, which was recently nominated for a Grammy Award.
In addition to performing, he is in demand as a speaker, clinician, composer, and arranger. He has also shared the stage with and/or worked with some of most talented entertainers in the world, including Bobby McFerrin, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Houston Person, Darius Rucker, Fred Wesley, and Cyrus Chestnut to name a few. Outside of music and entertainment, he and his wife, MaryJo, are the proud parents of Shalamar and D’Marcus, as well as their pets…Sassy, Jango, Mojo, Kota Bear, Pumpkin, and Ginger.
Dr. Tim Fischer (guitar)
Artist in Residence 2017-2021
Dr. Tim Fischer (guitar) is a jazz guitarist, composer, and educator who has performed across the United States as well as in Europe. Growing up in Los Angeles, Tim had the good fortune to study and perform with many of the great musicians that call the city home. The lessons learned during his formative years in Los Angeles are compiled on his debut album as a leader, Due South, which features his original compositions and arrangements performed by a mix of friends from both the West Coast and Midwest. He moved to South Carolina in 2016 to teach jazz and music technology at Coastal Carolina University.
Tim is active in jazz education, having presented his research on the Miles Davis first quintet at Northwestern University, University of Southern California, California Institute of the Arts, Eastern Washington University, Pasadena City College, and the Seattle Jazz Guitar Society. He is the coauthor of Jazz Guitar Duets (Mel Bay Publications); his writing has also appeared in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine.
Tim has worked as an adjudicator for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and as an instructor of combos and big bands for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Summer Jazz Camp. An experienced computer programmer, Tim has also presented clinics on website development and online marketing for the music and design schools at California Institute of the Arts. Prior to joining CCU, he taught music at several colleges throughout Los Angeles and St. Louis. Tim holds a doctorate in music from the University of Southern California and a master’s from California Institute of the Arts.
Ricardo Ochoa (violin)
Artist in Residence 2015-2019
Ricardo Ochoa (violin) – Ricardo is the founder of the jazz strings program as a part of the Hilton Head Jazz Camp, with the aim of teaching traditional string instruments improvisation and playing jazz music in a string ensemble. Ricardo is a very active musician locally, most famously known for co-founding and touring with the nationally recognized band Velvet Caravan. He is also active as a classical musician with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and Savannah Philharmonic. We were honored to have Ricardo as a part of the Hilton Head Jazz Camp for many years!