The Music Idealist
From serenading ballads at the Dark Room to championing all women beat battles, pianist, composer and singer-songwriter Katarra Parson has performed in numerous venues locally and across the nation, from the Black Lives Conference in Atlanta, to the 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 performing at a local open mic, where she overcame years of anxiety and quickly blossomed, making a name for herself as a multifaceted performer and artist, leading to many collaborations and opportunities, such as signing with collective ‘Farfetched’ by Damon Davis, and an 18 month residency with the Kranzberg Arts Foundation.
Since then, Katarra has made a name for herself as a multifaceted performer who's career quickly blossomed within 3 years. Her story and journey has since been covered by St. Louis’ most cherished media platforms, such as St. Louis Post Dispatch, St. Louis American, and the Riverfront Times amongst others, making her one of the city’s most talked-about musicians. A story of a Phoenix rising from the ashes of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and a lifelong battle with mental illness made way around the city. In the midst of these experiences, Katarra found healing and personal strength through sonic expression of emotions that are sometimes too much to put only into words. The full transparency of her lyrics and the emotional provocation of her compositions helps listeners escape and even face the realities of this world.
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, as allows her creations to dive into the ups and downs of loving and living, passion and pain, self-reflection, and self-awareness.
“I was meant to have music as my medium because I'm meant to heal myself through my music,” Parson says. “But I see as well that I'm also meant to help other people heal through my music.”
In pursuit of this purpose, Katarra has become a staple in the live music scene in St. Louis, whether on stage or behind the scenes of mental health advocacy, black healing, anti-racism, and community outreach.
Through platforms such as Lyrical Therapy and collaborations with social activist groups such as the Dream Defenders, founded in Miami, and CTWO (Center for Third World Organizing), founded in California, Katarra uses music as a platform for voices within the community that are rarely heard, recognized and represented in mainstream art.
From the Dark Room to Fresh Produce, from the Pulitzer Arts Foundation to S.L.U.M.Fest, Katarra is breaking all of the barriers of the traditional singer/songwriter...all within her own universe of self expression.