Bio

  1. 1951

    Born in the Bronx

  2. 1971

    Enters the music scene playing Studio We, Studio Rivbea, Hilly’s on The Bowery, Salt and Pepper, Club and The Baby Grand

  3. 1973

    Forms the collective The Music Ensemble

    Performs with Cooper-Moore, Billy Bang, Billy Higgins, Frank Lowe, Sunny Murray, David S. Ware, and others at Ornette Coleman’s Artist House, Studio Rivbea, Studio WE, and the East

  4. 1974

    Performs with Cecil Taylor’s big band at Carnegie Hall

    Co-founds Centering Music/Dance Ensemble with choreographer Patricia Nicholson

  5. 1975

    Moves to LES

    Performs at the Five Spot with Don Cherry

  6. 1976

    Composes and presents ballet, "Dawn Voice" and many dance/music concerts at St. Mark's on the Bowery and Environ

  7. 1977

    Composes and presents ballets "Liberation Folk Suite" and "Sun Garden" for mixed ensemble with reeds, strings, and voice

  8. 1978

    Participates in CETA Artist Program with Theatre for Forgotten

  9. 1979

    Composes and presents "Light Slices My Heart," a ballet with string quartet, and music for voices and small ensemble, inspired by Aztec poetry

  10. 1980

    Joins the Cecil Taylor Unit

    Composes and performs “Night Skies,” a modern ballet in collaboration with choreographer Patricia Nicholson

  11. 1981

    Concerts for solo bass in Berlin

    Composes “Peace Suite,” a composition for large ensemble, voices, dance, and poetry

  12. 1982

    Premieres “A Thousand Cranes,” an opera for orchestra, dance, and a chorus of 1000 school children, performed at opening of UN Second Special Session for Disarmament

  13. 1983

    Premieres composition “Inheritance” for three voices, bassoon, alto flute, double bass, and dance in Downtown Music Series at Third Street Music School

  14. 1984

    Co-organizes “Sound Unity,” a five-day international festival at CUANDO, New York City

  15. 1985

    Composes music for documentary shown on PBS “Community Dig”

  16. 1986-87

    Composes and presents “Vision Peace and Battle Cries,” a modern ballet for large orchestra with poetry and voice in collaboration with choreographer Patricia Nicholson at La MaMa

    Co-organizes Lower East Side Music Festival

  17. 1988-89

    Receives New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Artist Fellowship

    Co-organizes Second Sound Unity Festival, New York City

  18. 1991

    Participates in Residency at the Rotterdam Conservatory and Residency at Bennington College, Bennington, VT

  19. 1992

    Composes and presents song cycle for solo voice and music for piano and flute, solo piano, and piano and percussion

  20. 1993

    Founds the In Order to Survive sextet

    Performs concerts and conducts workshops with Roscoe Mitchell at Cal Arts

  21. 1994

    Founds The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra

    Composes new music for Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater, as well as arranging and re-orchestrating music from Dvorak’s opera “Rusalka”

  22. 1995

    The Village Voice characterizes William Parker as “the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time”

    Premieres 10 compositions in an 8-week season with the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra at the Knitting Factory

    Composes music for the dance-drama “The Shadow People”

  23. 1998

    The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra and Dance performs “Mass for the Healing of the World” in Verona

  24. 1999

    Performs with Peter Brotzmann’s Die Like a Dog Quartet

  25. 2000

    “Kaleidoscope” premieres at the Fifth Annual Vision Festival

    Receives New York State Council on the Arts Commissioning Award

  26. 2001

    Forms the William Parker Quartet with Hamid Drake

    Records O’Neal’s Porch, recognized by New York Times as one of the year’s Best Jazz Albums

  27. 2002

    “Universal Tonality,” new orchestra piece commissioned by the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, premieres at Roulette in Brooklyn

    Steve Greenlee of the Boston Globe praises William “as the most important leader of the current avant-garde scene in jazz”

  28. 2003

    Participates in residency at the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, CA

    Other Minds Festival commissions William for “Spirit Catcher for Four Musicians and Tape,” in San Francisco, CA

  29. 2004

    Participates in Visiting Artist Program at Haystack in Deer Isle, Maine

    Premiers Bass Quartet with Alan Silva, Sirone, Henry Grimes, and Charles Gayle at the Vision Festival

  30. 2005

    Plays at Tel Aviv Jazz Festival with Roy Campbell’s Pyramid Trio

    Musica Jazz votes William Jazz Musician of the Year in Italy

    Teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music

  31. 2006

    Premieres “Lakota Chamber Music” for woodwinds and “Light In The Hall of Whispers” for string ensemble

    Performs with theatre, dance and music piece “Looking For Cookie Gilchrist” in collaboration with Patricia Nicholson

  32. 2007

    Premieres “Double Sunrise Over Neptune” at Vision Festival XII

    Premieres multimedia piece, “Expanded Humanity” with students from Humanities Preparatory Academy (NYC) and the Amistad Academy (Hartford, CT)

    Receives "Musician of the Year" award in Italy

    Time Out New York names Parker one of the “50 Greatest New York Musicians of All Time”

    Receives Nameless Sound Resounding Vision Award, Houston, TX

  33. 2008

    Performs in Milano with the Curtis Mayfield Project

    Tours Europe with Tony Malaby and Nasheet Waits

  34. 2009

    Lectures at political/music conference at Sons d’hiver Festival in Paris

    Performs with Milford Graves in the Azore Islands

  35. 2010

    Performs live soundtrack for Jean Luc Godard’s film Alphaville at Nuovo Cinema, Bologna

    Performs with The Art Ensemble of Chicago in Philadelphia

  36. 2011

    Performs live soundtrack to film by Sylvain George Courtisane in Paris

    Records string quartet plus saxophone improvisations with Daniel Carter for film “On Being Native”

  37. 2012

    Premiers The Essence of Ellington w/ 15 piece orchestra in Milano

  38. 2013

    Receives the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award for influence and impact on the creative jazz scene over the last 40 years

    NY Premier of Alphaville Suite performed live to Jean Luc Godard’s film

    Premiers “Ceremonies,” written for Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus in Poland

  39. 2014

    Receives the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award for influence and impact on the creative jazz scene over the last 40 years

    Premiers new composition dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., "Flower in a Stain Glass Window," over four days in Philadelphia

  40. 2015

    Premiers new composition dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., "Flower in a Stain Glass Window," with over 35 artists--musicians, actors/actresses, singers, and performers

 

William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, “the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time.”  

In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.

Parker’s current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan’s Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore.  Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others. 

 

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upcoming performances

 

9/22 New york, NY

@In Gardens series at Children's Magical Garden

Dance While We Still Have Feet
Poems of David Budbill
1:30 pm
William Parker - shakuhachi
Amirtha Kidambi - voice
Andrea Wolper - voice
Lisa Sokolov - voice
Kyoko Kitamura - voice

 

9/29 New york, NY

@In Gardens series at Children's Magical Garden

Sewelsonics
3:30pm
Dave Sewelson - baritone sax
Bobby Kapp - drums
William Parker - bass

 

10/1 New york, NY

@Blank Forms Second Annual Benefit Honoring Joe McPhee

w/ Patricia Nicholson

 

10/7 New york, NY

@Raza y Resistencia

What it is
8:30pm
Melanie Dyer - viola
James Brandon Lewis - tenor sax
William Parker - bass
Bill Mazza - video art
Patricia Nicholson - dance, text
TA Thompson - drums
Devin Brahja Waldman - alto sax

 

10/8 New york, NY

@Raza y Resistencia

Tony Malaby Quartet
7:00pm
Tony Malaby - tenor sax
Marc Hannaford - piano
William Parker - bass
Billy Mintz - drums

 

10/14 Shenzhen, china

@Oct - loft jazz festival

7:30-830pm

 

10/24 brooklyn, NY

@happylucky no.1

Tony Malaby Quartet
Tony Malaby - tenor saxophone
Marc Hannaford - piano
William Parker - bass
Billy Mintz - drums


past
performances

 

6/7 Portland, ME

@ Apohadion Theater

Hope Cries for Justice
8:00pm w/ Patricia Parker

6/8 Peterborough, NH

@ the thing in the spring festival

Hope Cries for Justice
7:30pm w/ Patricia Nicholson

6/10 montreal, qb, canada

@ Casa Del Popolo

Milford Graves, William Parker, Jason Selman

6/13 Hamilton, ON, canada

@ something else! festival

9:00pm Eugene Chadbourne, William Parker, Jesse Stewart

6/14 Hamilton, ON, Canada

@ something else! festival

Hope Cries for Justice
7:45pm w/ Patricia Nicholson

Sonoluminecence Trio
10:00pm David Mott, William Parker, Jesse Stewart

6/16 Newburgh, ny

@ jazz at atlas

Clarinet Madness
Michael Marcus, Perry Robinson, William Parker, Jay Rosen

6/26 New york, ny

@ The stone

8:30pm
World Premier “Fundamental Evolution (Back Street Shuffle)” -- Music for four
William Parker & The Aquasonic ensemble:
Waterphones and two basses
Anne Humanfeld - aquasonic
Leonid Galaganov - aquasonic
Jeff Schlanger - aquasonic
William Parker - aquasonic
Peter Dennis - bass
Walter Stinson - bass

6/27 New york, ny

@ The stone

8:30pm
“The Blinking of the Ear”
AnneMarie-Sandy - mezzo soprano
Eri Yamamoto - piano
Leonid Galaganov - percussion
William Parker - bass
Daniel Carter - reeds
Steve Swell - trombone

6/28 New york, ny

@ The stone

8:30pm
World Premier “White Wine Positions” dedicated to Johannes Bauer July 22 1954-May 6, 2016
Jim Staley - trombone
Steve Swell - trombone
Masahiko Kono - trombone, electronics Joe Mcphee - brass
Lower Mixed Chamber Ensemble:
Jeff Schlanger - didgeridoo
Walter Stinson - bass
William Parker - eb Ophicleide
Peter Dennis - bass

6/29 New york, ny

@ The stone

8:30pm
“Music For Cosmic Octet”--“Eventual” (for Sunny Murray)
Steve Swell - trombone
Jaimie Branch - trumpet
Rob Brown - alto sax
Darius Jones - alto sax
James Brandon Lewis - tenor sax
Cooper Moore - piano
William Parker - bass
William Hookerr - drums

6/30 New york, ny

@ The stone

8:30pm
“A Word is A Sound” -- A Remembrance of David Budbill A choral piece for voice quintet and multiple Shakuhachi All words by David Budbill. Music by William Parker
Berne Groden - shakuhachi
Leonid Galaganov - shakuhachi
William Parker - shakuhachi
Kenya - shakuhachi
Lisa Sokolov - voice
Kyoko Kitiamura - voice
Andrea Wolper - voice
Amirtha Kidambi - voice
Morley Shanti Kamen - voice

7/14-20 Tel aviv, israel

7/17 @Levontin 7

w/ Hamid Drake, Assif Tsahar

7/17 @Levontin 7

William ParkerOrchestra

7/31 Brooklyn, ny

@Korzo

Tony Malaby w/ Leo Genovese, William Parker, Billy Mintz

8/8 New york, ny

@the 75 club

TRIBUTE TO SONNY SIMMONS 85TH BIRTHDAY

Matthew Shipp/ Michael Bisio Duo

William Parker/ Juma Sultan/ Darius Jones/ Jaimie Branch/ Joe Mcphee/ Ronnie Burrage 

Cosmosamatics: Michaels Marcus, Jay Rosen, Tyler Michell

*suggested donation $30 or more

The money raised goes directly to Sonny, and will make his trip to see family in California possible. Can't attend? Consider making a donation. 

8/21 Groningen, netherlands

@Roccella Jazz festival

THE LANGUAGE OF COSMIC TRUTH

New Organ Quartet
William Parker - bass
Cooper-Moore - key
James Brandon Lewis - tenor sax
Hamid Drake - drums

8/25 Groningen, netherlands

@SUmmer Jazz cycle tour

William Parker, Klaas Hekman, Wilbert de Joode

8/28-29 new york, ny

@dizzy's club

7:30pm / 9:30pm

Criminals in the Whitehouse Suite
FLOWERS TO THE RESCUE

In Order to Survive Sextet
William Parker - bass
Hamid Drake - drums
Rob Brown - alto sax
Cooper-Moore - piano
James Brandon Lewis - tenor sax
Steve Swell - trombone

8/31 Chicago, IL

@Constellations

Kidd Jordan, Alvin Fielder, William Parker, Matthew Shipp

9/1 Chicago, il

@chicago jazz festival

Matthew Shipp, Ivo Perelman w/ William Paker, Bobby Kapp

9/8 New york, NY

@In Gardens series at Children's Magical Garden

3:30 pm Duo w/ Daniel Carter

9/14 Guelph, On, Canada

@guelph Jazz Festival

Steve Swell’s Soul Travelers
Steve Swell, Jemeel Moondoc, Dave Burrell,  William Parker, Chad Taylor

 
 
 
 

Music

As Leader

As Co-Leader

 
 

Books & DVDs

Scrapbook: Notes and Blueprints

William Parker - 206 pages

Available at

AUM Fidelity

The William Parker Sessionography

Rick Lopez - 482 pages

Available at

AUM Fidelity

Chile-New York-AfghanIRAQ

Jeff Schlanger & William Parker - DVD

Available at

AUM Fidelity

Who Owns Music?

William Parker - 148 pages

Available at

buddy's knife jazzedition

Conversations

William Parker - 445 pages

Available at

RogueArt

Conversations II

William Parker - 500 pages

Available at

RogueArt

Voices in the First Person

William Parker - 199 pages

Available at

Amazon

Giving Birth to Sound

William Parker & Renate Da Rin - 297 pages

Available at

buddy's knife jazzedition

 

Sound Journal

William Parker - 75 pages

Out of print

Music and the Shadow People

William Parker

Out of print

 

William Parker

William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, “the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time.”  

In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.

Parker’s current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan’s Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore.  Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others. 

Long Bio


Music

Videos

Press Photos

WilliamParker_by_PeterGannushkin
WiliamParker_by_JimmyKatz
William_Parker

For booking and inquiries please email

info@williamparker.net