There is phenomenal music any given night in Indianapolis and this past Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at the world famous Jazz Kitchen was one for the books.  For those who think you must visit the clubs in New York for great music, you underestimate the talent here, with musicians who have the chops for any international stage. 

Chris Parker brought together the master/teacher/mentors of Steve Allee (piano) and Greg Ward (sax) with his own up and coming generation of players including Isaac Beaumont (bass), Garrett Fasig (sax), Jeff Parker (trumpet) and Parker on drums.  It is new bands like this that makes Indianapolis a creative force in continuing the music and the legacy of jazz in our city.   

Parker led the sextet this evening in a celebration of the music of saxophonist Chris Potter, someone Chris clearly identifies with.  The setlist featured favorite tunes where Potter was in the mix, starting out with “The Source” and “Rush” - which set the tone for an audience clearly there to enjoy great jazz. From “Eurydice” to “Bastion of Sanity” to Sonny Rollins’ 1954 standard “Airegin”, featured on Potter’s “Sundiata” recording  and Joe Henderson’s “Recorda-Me”, the music offered solos and collaborations that flowed effortlessly.  

The Indy musical community is known for supporting each other and creating the music for all of us to enjoy – from touring musicians and seasoned players to the students in our music schools at both the high school and college levels.  The audience knew the musicians and they came out to show their love, with applause and cheers song after song.  The house was full, including a wonderful mix of music lovers, musicians, and students, looking for the magic and finding it in this new band.  

Chris Parker is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator based in the Midwest. A native of Bloomington, IN, and an alum of Indy Jazz Fest’s Jazz Futures High School Jazz Ensemble, he is a rising senior at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Parker has spent his professional music career performing throughout the Midwest and in New York City. He has performed and/or recorded with Dave Stryker, Rich Perry, Steve Allee, Scott Wendholt, Greg Ward, Chris Potter, Jim Ridl, Tim Armacost, Charlie Ballantine, Jamey Aebersold, Amanda Gardier, Frank Glover, Greg Abate, Jim Snidero, Monika Herzig, Roger Pemberton, Rob Dixon, and many others. 

He also maintains a private teaching studio, serves as the Vice President of Bloomington, IN nonprofit “B’Town Jazz”, and is the student jam session coordinator for the Jazz Education Network JENerations Jazz Festival. In addition to an extensive discography as a sideman, his debut album as a leader (“Moving Forward Now”) and EP (“Interstate EP”) are available on all online music platforms.


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