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Take Five With Jason Parker

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Jason Parker:

Seattle trumpeter Jason Parker leads the Jason Parker Quartet, who will release their second CD on October 24, 2009 on Broken Time Records. No More, No Less features some of Seattle's finest young jazz musicians. Stream and download now at Jason Parker's website.

Instrument(s):

Trumpet.

Teachers and/or influences?

Ev Stern, Tony Grasso, Ingrid Jensen, Brian Lynch, Terell Stafford, Laurie Frink, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard and all the musicians in Seattle.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

Dizzy Gillespie and his band performed at my elementary school when I was in second grade. Up to that point I wanted to play cello, but after that day it was all trumpet all the time.

Your sound and approach to music:

I try to play from the heart. Melody is important to me. I like to think that I'm honoring the tradition by being fully invested in being me.

Your dream band:

I've got it. The JPQ features Josh Rawlings on piano, Evan Flory-Barnes on bass and D'Vonne Lewis on drums. I cherish each moment I get to play with these beautiful people.

Favorite venue:

There's a new venue in Seattle called Lucid, which has become our home away from home. But playing the Bowery Ballroom in NYC to a packed house was pretty cool too.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

The new JPQ record, No More, No Less. It is a perfect documentation of us as a band two years into playing with each other. No more, No less.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Bird & Diz.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

Passion.

Did you know...

I worked in Rock 'n' Roll radio for years.

CDs you are listening to now:

The Teaching, The Teaching (The Teaching Music);

Terence Blanchard, Choices (Concord);

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam);

Thomas Marriott, Flexicon (Origin);

Bill Anschell & Brent Jensen, We Couldn't Agree More (Origin).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Abundant. Curious. Surprising. Passionate.

What is in the near future?

As mentioned above, the new JPQ CD No More, No Less will be out in physical form in October.

I'm working on two projects now: Clave Nagila, which is Latin jazz arrangements of traditional Jewish tunes, and a jazz remake of Nick Drake's CD Five Leaves Left.

By Day:

Music.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Classical cellist.

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