In August of 2015, the Morgantown Bureau of Parks and Recreation sponsored the Jazz Crossroads Festival featuring six different bands in six local venues. One of the featured artists was bassist and vocalist, Nicki Parrott, a native of Australia now based in NYC.
Besides her amazing talent and charm and the terrific memories I have of her performances, the thing that I recall most readily about Nicki comes from other people who met her.
The Morgantown deal was a two gig booking. She led an all star quartet in the Morgantown Arts Center on Saturday night for the festival. Earlier that afternoon, she was featured in an appearance with the Mon River Big Band in the McQuain Amphitheater.
Rehearsal for the Orchestra show was the night before in the Met Theater. Nicki had driven in from her Connecticut home to make it.
Now here is what I remember about Nicki.
Over a period of weeks after the show, I had occasion to speak with five different members of the orchestra, and each one of them praised Nicki’s talent and leadership on stage, but they also made a point of telling me that upon arrival at the theater, she went to each and every member of the orchestra and introduced herself, taking the time to exchange pleasantries.
“She even remembered my name later on,” said one of the sax players.
She has world class talent, a resume that won’t quit, an esteemed position among her peers, but the thing people in West Virginia remember first about Nicki Parrott is her basic decency, kindness and courtesy.
To me, that’s kind of how jazz people are.