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Rebecca Parris

Born to a family of musicians and educators in Newton, Massachusetts, in December, 1951, Rebecca Parris has been performing her entire life. Her parents encouraged her to pursue the study of music at an early age, her roots sprouting in musical theater at 6 years old. As her passion for music developed, Parris was fortunate to study with her uncle, and world-renown vocal coach, Blair McClosky of McClosky Institute of Voice. Parris pursued formal music education at Boston Conservatory.

Parris began her professional career in music working with various top 40’s bands in the Northeast before finding her true musical passion in the Jazz world. Since then, Rebecca has performed all over the world with her own groups, as well as with some of Jazz’s greatest legends, including Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Terry Gibbs, David “Fathead” Newman, Norman Simmons. Harold Jones, Andy Simpkins, Gerry Wiggins, Bill Cunliffe, Red Mitchell, Buster Cooper, Nat Pierce, and many others.

Parris’ second passion was teaching, both in a private, one-on-one and workshop setting. Her lessons and workshops focused on technique, performance and the “business” side of music, as well as lyric delivery, scat, and improvisation.

Rebecca’s most recent album release was “You Don’t Know Me” on the Saying It With Jazz label where she performed some well-chosen standards with her long-time trio: Brad Hatfield, piano; Peter Kontrimas, bass; and Matt Gordy, drums, plus guest artists Jerry Bergonzi and Houston Person on tenor saxophone and Gary Burton on vibes.

Prior releases included her all-ballads CD, “My Foolish Heart,” “The Secret of Christmas”, “A Beautiful Friendship” with the Kenny Hadley Big Band, “Double Rainbow” with Eddie Higgins and Michael Monaghan, “A Passionate Fling”, “Love Comes and Goes”, and “Live at Chan’s.”



Rebecca Parris: 1951-2018

Read "Rebecca Parris: 1951-2018" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

You'll happen my way on some mem'rable day And the month will be May for a while... I was never fortunate enough to have met Rebecca Parris in person; but, I was fortunate enough to live in and be a part of the musical universe that surrounded her. That universe was created by the singer through her recordings, performances, and instruction of aspiring vocalists, each who went on to become part of the creative galaxy that ...

Bailey's Bundles

The Jazz Ballad Gauntlet: Rebecca Parris and Beat Kaestli

Read "The Jazz Ballad Gauntlet: Rebecca Parris and Beat Kaestli" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

bal * lad :noun \'ba-ləd\ A slow popular song that is typically about love. The ballad remains one of the most durable vehicles in any music genre. In jazz, it is a make-or-break format capable of revealing the haves and haves not in the jazz vocals department. There have been many nonpareil jazz ballad singers, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Horn immediately come to mind. Among the men are Frank Sinatra, ...

Album Review

Rebecca Parris: You Don't Know Me

Read "You Don't Know Me" reviewed by Donald Elfman

It's about time somebody said it--Rebecca Parris is the real thing. Her voice speaks of years of experience but her melodic and harmonic inventiveness, rhythmic playfulness and different way with a lyric are all eternally young and new. You Don't Know Me, on a new label, is a rich and full program of tunes from our American Songbook--with a Brazilian evergreen thrown in for good, very good, measure. The voice is perhaps darker than it has been ...

Album Review

Rebecca Parris: You Don't Know Me

Read "You Don't Know Me" reviewed by Tom Pierce

How does a singer ensure that there's sufficient variety on a fifteen-song record that the attention of even a passionate jazz vocal fan doesn't wander? You Don't Know Me, the tenth recording that Rebecca Parris has appeared on, represents yet another successful response by the revered Boston-area vocalist to this challenge.

The album features two powerfully expressive tenor saxophonists (Houston Person and Jerry Bergonzi) on various tracks. They clearly project the type of strong instrumental voice which is capable of ...

Album Review

Rebecca Parris: You Don't Know Me

Read "You Don't Know Me" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Should you peruse Boston-based jazz vocalist Rebecca Parris's website, you're treated to photographs of Parris with some notable jazz artists, including Carol Sloane, Carmen McRae and Shirley Horn. If you glance at the links page, you'll note Parris's obvious friendship with the likes of the great Nancy King and Patti Wicks. It is in this heady company where Rebecca Parris belongs, front and center. Parris has a couple of major things in common with these artists to support this: one, ...

Album Review

Rebecca Parris: My Foolish Heart

Read "My Foolish Heart" reviewed by AAJ Staff

With the winds of an international distributor behind her once more, Boston’s undisputed queen of jazz is ready to set sail for farther shores in her continuing conquest of deserving ears and willing hearts. Forgoing her signature scat and energizing pacings, Parris uses her fireplace voice to warm and warn herself and her fellow lovers before they venture forth once more into the romantic unknown. While “Never Let Me Go" plaintively pleads for known security, “If You Could See Me ...

Album Review

Rebecca Parris: The Secret of Christmas

Read "The Secret of Christmas" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Aural Brandy Eggnog...

Rebecca Parris slips into the opening “Silver Bells" like it was a plush and cozy mink coat tailored especially for her. Her sumptuously virile alto voice coaxes visions of bustling Christmas Eve sidewalks beneath a gentle snowfall while skating over a light Latin groove established and maintained by her working trio of pianist Brad Hatfield (or George Mesterhazy), bassist John Lockwood (or Peter Kontrimas), and drummer Matt Gordy. This heady highball Ms. Parris mixes throughout her very ...

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Performance / Tour

West Meets East: Cathy Segal-Garcia & Rebecca Parris at Ryles Jazz Club on June 17

West Meets East:  Cathy Segal-Garcia & Rebecca Parris at Ryles Jazz Club on June 17

Source: Patricia Adams Ensembles

Two Special Jazz Vocalists Unite once again! Thursday, June 17, 2010 8:30pm to 12:00am

Cathy Segal-Garcia was born and bred in Newton, MA. Her father was Mike Segal, a sax player and band leader, and mother Natalie had been a big band singer. Cathy's twin sisters, Margy and Edie, joined her in their youth singing and performing.

Attending Berklee 72-75, Cathy then settled in Los Angeles, where she still resides. Performer, recording artist (six CDs presently), voice teacher, ...


Performance / Tour

Paula West and Rebecca Parris Celebrate Lena Horne in Concert

Paula West and Rebecca Parris Celebrate Lena Horne in Concert

Source: KMP, Inc.



WHERE: Scullers Jazz Club (inside Doubletree Guest Suites Boston) 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston, MA 02134-1805 (617) 783-0090 scullersjazz.com

WHEN: Saturday, April 24, 2010 sets at 8:00 & 10:00PM

WHERE: Camden Opera House 29 Elm St., Camden, Maine 04843 (207) 470-7066 camdenoperahouse.com

WHEN: Sunday, April 25, 2010 4PM

WHERE: ...



Rebecca Parris: You Don't Know Me

Rebecca Parris: You Don't Know Me

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

The other day I happened across a CD of a singer whose name was new to me. As readers of this bog know, I'm pretty picky about the singers I listen to. I like my female vocalists authentic, earthy and deeply meaningful. I can't help it. My ears are spoiled and can instantly separate the fakers from the achers. I also favor jazz singers over pop or cabaret warblers. The difference for me is that jazz singers are bruised fruit, ...


Performance / Tour

Parris Takes the Music South

Parris Takes the Music South

Source: Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes

No matter that there was another Arctic blast of winter in New England, singer Rebecca Parris packed in a full house at Chan's in Woonsocket RI Saturday evening with a heated set that had us feeling like we were in Rio.

The Boston-based singer, always a huge draw at Chan's, was joined by saxophonist Dan Moretti, pianist Tim Ray, bassist Dave Zinno and drummer Steve Langone for a heart-warming and solid evening.

They took a blend of American Songboook and ...


Performance / Tour

Rebecca Parris at Birdland November 21-24 Show Times 8:30 & 11PM

Rebecca Parris at Birdland November 21-24 Show Times 8:30 & 11PM

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

November 14, 2007 To: Listings/Critics/Features Rebecca Parris at Birdland November 21-24 (Thanksgiving weekend)

Rebecca will be performing songs from her highly-acclaimed new CD You Don't Know Me(Saying It With Jazz, 2007) with her trio: Brad Hatfield (p), Dean Johnson (b) and Matt Gordy (d).

BIRDLAND 315 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036 212.581.3080 Show times 8:30 & 11pm Music Charge: $30 general admission; ...



Rebecca Parris Introduces Her New CD at IAJE January 12

Rebecca Parris Introduces Her New CD at IAJE January 12

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

Rebecca Parris will introduce her new recording You Don't Know Me at her IAJE performance on Friday, January 12, 11 pm, in the Sheraton Metropolitan Ballroom. Her tenth album, and first since the well-received My Foolish Heart (Koch, 2001), You Don't Know Me demonstrates Rebecca's full powers as a jazz vocalist--not only her artistry with a ballad, but also her mastery of the art of improvisation.

You cannot listen to Parris for more than a few moments without being startled ...


Performance / Tour

Vocalist Rebecca Parris at the Jazz Standard in NYC July 15-17

Vocalist Rebecca Parris at the Jazz Standard in NYC July 15-17

Source: All About Jazz

On You Don’t Know Me, Parris shows her upbeat chops as well as her ballad finesse...Rebecca Parris continues an integral and important vein in jazz music, that of supreme interpreter." —C. Michael Bailey, allaboutjazz.com

"Parris favors unembellished storytelling that, on the naked strength of its deceptive simplicity, reverberates with hard-won, world-weary sagacity." —Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times

"Rebecca's vocal sound is mature and immensely satisfying; she delivers lyrics with care and affection, with wit and flair, and her phrasing is exemplary...,There is not an indifferent note on this exceptional CD and must surely bring Rebecca the international attention she so richly deserves." —Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal International



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

You Don't Know Me

Saying It With Jazz


My Foolish Heart

KOCH International Jazz


The Secret of...

Shira Records


My Foolish Heart

KOCH International Jazz



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