From serenading ballads at the Dark Room to championing all women beat battles at FemFest, pianist, composer and singer-songwriter Katarra Parson has performed in venues locally and across the nation. From the Black Lives Conference in Atlanta featuring leaders such as Stacy Abrams, to sharing a summer night on the same stage as Herbie Hancock, Terrace Martin, Sza and The Internet at III Points Festival in Miami. This St. Louis native brings a variety of talents and styles to the table, pulling audiences into her impassioned performances with vocals and keys that blend Jazz, Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Classical influences.
Katarra began her career performing at St. Louis’ 3rd largest open mic, ‘Lyrical Therapy’, where she overcame years of anxiety and stage fright. Stepping out of such fears, Katarra has blossomed, making a name for herself as a multifaceted performer and artist on the St. Louis music scene. One step led to a snowball effect of many opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations such as signing with artist collective ‘WeAreFarfetched’ curated by multi-disciplinary artist Damon Davis, as well as an 18 month Jazz Residency with the Kranzberg Arts Foundation.
Katarra’s story, journey, and music has since been covered by St. Louis’ most cherished media platforms such as: St. Louis Post Dispatch, St. Louis American, The Riverfront Times, St. Louis Public Radio, and Deluxe Magazine amongst others, as she was able to release her debut album ‘Cocoa Voyage’. Released Nov. 2019, it would go on to feature on Bandcamp’s ‘Best Soul of 2019’, featuring ‘Cocoa Voyage’ on the story headline, and The River Front Time’s ‘Best Local Music of 2019’. A story of a phoenix rising from the ashes made its way around the city, and in the midst of positive and negative experiences with mental health, Katarra found healing and personal strength with every stage she touched. One recent honor given to Katarra was performing the Black National Anthem for St. Louis’ First Black Woman Mayor, Tishaura Jones’ 2021 Inauguration. One of many emotionally moving performances, Katarra’s sonic expression of pain and rebirth along with the full transparency of lyrics provoked even the most stoic of listeners.
With soul and the sultriness, Katarra’s soulful runs and revival of the jazz scat style, is a musical revolution all wrapped up in one woman, allowing her creations to dive into the ups and downs of loving and living, passion and pain, self-reflection, and self-awareness.