Nicki Parrott (bassist, vocalist) has been attending the Hilton Head Jazz Camp since 2014 as an artist-in-residence. 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. After graduating high school she moved to Sydney to study jazz at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music where she began to play with 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. She continued her studies with various bassists including visiting artists Ray Brown and John Clayton.
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, Dick Hyman, Patti Labelle & the New York Pops Orchestra, Harry Allen, Marlena Shaw, David Krakauer, 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.
“…A rarity, a first-class bassist whose playing is as sublime as her vocals.” – LIMELIGHT 2012
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 other programs such as: Women in Jazz, New York Pops: Create A Symphony and Musical Mentors, WBGO-FM & NJPAC’s Jazz for Teens and Litchfield Jazz Camp.
Aimee Nolte is a jazz pianist/vocalist in the LA area with a YouTube channel that boasts 200K subscribers. She is a highly sought- after educator in the jazz community, having been an instructor for the renowned vocal coach David Braid’s VocalizeU camp in Malibu, a featured artist/clinician/adjudicator at numerous jazz festivals around the country, including Univeristy Of Northern Michigan, Fullerton College, South Plains College, and The Hilton Head Jazz Camp, University of Mary, as well as many online masterclass engagements during the pandemic. Aimee continues to teach clinics and master classes to students who want to learn to scat sing like serious jazz musicians, and players who want to take their improvisation game to the next level.
Devon Gates (bass, vocals) is our young artist-in-residence from Atlanta, Georgia. As a high school student, she studied with Dr. Gordon Vernick, Kevin Bales, and Billy Thornton as part of the Georgia State University Rialto Honors Combo, with which she released the album Playing the Music of Roy Hargrove in 2019. This fall she began college at Harvard University, studying music and the social sciences while pursuing a dual degree with Berklee College of Music in jazz performance. Between these institutions she has been able to study with Linda Oh, Kris Davis, Terri Lynne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding, and Vijay Iyer, in addition to performing with artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater and Tia Fuller. She is also passionate about her role as an arranger and featured performer in the Harvard Opportunes acapella ensemble, and involvement with Berklee’s Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice.