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Today in Pacific Spotlight, Stripes talks with Petty Officer First Class Nichoelle Smith, jazz enthusiatic and Legal Office supervisor at Sasebo Naval Base, Japan:

What do you like best about your job?

To meet and interact with many types of people, especially Japanese nationals.

What do you like least?

Sometimes having to keep late hours.Having to deal with clients who are pests or having a bad day.When I’m having a bad day.What’s been the high point of your job?

Definitely a people person. If you don’t empathize, you shouldn’t follow this line of work.

What advice would you give to someone interested in doing this?

You have to like people on duty or off duty.

So you love jazz. How did you come to appreciate jazz?

I came to appreciate jazz the day I was born. I played the clarinet in grade school, which taught me how to respect my instrument and music.

What does jazz “do” for you?

Jazz is an outlet of frustration for me. Expression can be accomplished through song. Jazz is the “mature” expression of self. You can talk about God, love, life, and it will all translate somehow into jazz. For instance, now it is popular for artists to mix other genres with jazz. That’s why I like jazz.

Who are a few of your favorite jazz musicians or bands and why?

Najee: He mixed Stevie Wonder with his music and I was hooked. Hiroshima: Since I was a little girl, I have loved the oriental style. I still have one of their old CDs. George Benson: He likes to scat! Dave Koz: “Lucky Man” made me love him. Jeff Lorber: He mixed Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” to jazz. Gospel jazz: Not many artists out there for this one but like I said, you can mix any and all with jazz.

What has been a high point for you while listening to jazz?

Dave Koz, in concert, brought two surprise guests: BeBe Winans and Jeff Lorber.

What would be your dream jazz experience?

I’d love to have Dave Koz play his sax live just for me.

Nichoelle Smith

Rank: Petty Officer 1st Class

Title: Legal Office supervisor, Sasebo Naval Base, Japan

Pacific readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Call Sharen Johnson at Stars and Stripes with the person’s name and contact information at DSN 229-3305 or e-mail her at


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