New York based pianist Chris Parker is a multifaceted performer and composer who has written for everything from small jazz groups and chamber ensembles to full symphony orchestra. With a long list of original works, he heads his own group that offers a diverse, lineup of Latin, funk and straight-ahead jazz. Contemporary jazz icons Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Chris Vadala and Lyn Seaton have all performed with Parker’s band. Randy Brecker plays on Parker's second album, The Thing Is on Triangle Records.
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Parker grew up in a thriving local jazz scene which included the likes of Leroy Vinegar, Mel Brown, David Friesen, David Frishberg, Glenn Moore and others. Having obtained Bachelors and Masters degrees in music composition, Parker moved to New York where he has been Professor of Music and head of jazz studies at SUNY Orange for the past few decades. A New York Chancellor’s Award winner, Parker engages and inspires students as he teaches them the skills they will need as future musicians.
His two CDs on the OA2 label, “Late in Lisbon” and the newly released “Full Circle” feature the unusual frontline of saxophone and violin. The albums are an exciting mix of Parker’s original jazz compositions ranging in style from burning latin and straight ahead, to funky tunes and laid back ballads. Reviewing “Late in Lisbon”, Ben Ohmart, Assistant Editor of Music Dish, says, “Parker is one of the greats ..