Photo: Leon Parker | © Goffredo Loertscher, Drummersworld.com
The next show will air on Sunday November 25, 2018 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features an interview with drummer/percussionist Leon Parker.
New-York born musician Leon Parker is one of the most intriguing musicians of his generation. Drummer, percussionist and body-rhythm pioneer, he constantly explores new sound possibilities, using an infinitive range of colors with an often-limited drumset (consisting sometimes in a unique cymbal). His distinctive groove, he draws from very natural roots, has built him a solid reputation on the jazz scene and beyond.
Leon Parker started drums when he was three, becoming a confirmed jazz musician in early adolescence. After having studied classical percussions, he took lessons with Barry Harris and started performing regularly in New York. Remarked for his unique musical print, he recorded first with Harvie Swartz and played with musicians such as Sheila Jordan and Kenny Barron.
After 10 years building his reputation as a side-man, recording with other musicians (including Dewey Redman, Jacky Terrasson, Brad Mehldau, Peter Bernstein, among others), and leading groups at clubs, he met producer Joel Dorn and recorded his first leader album, “Above and Below”, in 1994, before releasing two other albums for Sony. His 1996-album, “Belief”, and 2 years later “Awakening”, emerged as the result of a long work on sound and deep musical explorations. After the release of his album “The Simple Life” in 2001, he decided to move to France and started to work on a Body-Rhythm method.
While still appearing on numerous albums as a sideman (Including those of Jacky Terrasson and Giovanni Mirabassi), he developed his Body-Rhythm techniques for many years, teaching workshops and leading his own voice and body-rhythm group in Toulouse. This method, called “EmbodiRhythm”, is the basis on which Leon Parker has written new compositions.
(Bio adapted from Parker’s website)
This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
Sixteen years ago, Parker left the U.S. for France to focus on teaching EmbodiRhythm workshops instead of the French Jazz scene.
Leon Parker returns to New York as part of the Aaron Goldberg Trio along with Matt Penman. The Trio will have a run at the Jazz Standard from Thursday, November 29, through Sunday, December 2. Chamber Music America’s (CMA) French-American Jazz Exchange partnered with the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and Brooklyn’s National Sawdust to help bring this project to fruition. Tune in for a ticket giveaway during the live broadcast!
Watch Parker’s drum solo in this live performance of “Perhaps.”
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York system.
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