Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Parks began playing music at age nine after his elementary school music teacher made the trombone sound like a racecar. He kept at it earning multiple regional and all-state honors and eventually got the opportunity to play lead trombone for the Young Sounds of Arizona Youth Jazz Band when he was a junior. Although he loved the creativity, originality, and expression that playing trombone allowed, Parks always had a passion for exploring other types of music and began writing songs of his own on acoustic guitar. By his senior year, after a few friends discovered a recording he made of an original song, he began performing around the campfire for his peers and at local coffee shops. During college, he continued to pursue music, majoring in Jazz Performance at Arizona State University while also earning a degree in Audio Music Production from Mesa Community College. Playing the trombone for nearly 17 years and through his affiliation with Young Sounds and ASU, he has had opportunity to play with and back up such jazz artists as Wycliffe Gordon, Andy Martin, Dennis Rowland, Fred Sturm, Bob Mintzer, Bobby Shew and Jeff Coffin as well as the Ringling Bros. Circus.
Upon graduating from ASU in May 2011, Parks finally decided it was time to follow his dream of songwriting and pursue a career as a solo artist. Six months later, he was signed to VSR Music (EMI/CMG) and released his first album entitled, “All You Gotta Do Is Love” in February 2012. Two years of live shows and extensive gigging led to a move to New York City where Parks began refining the craft of songwriting through his studies at NYU.
A 2015 graduate, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Composition and Songwriting connecting him with some of the industries’ best. He studied privately with award winning and multi Grammy-nominated songwriter Phil Galdston, Lenny Pickett (SNL Bandleader, Tower of Power), Wayne Krantz (Steely Dan, Michael Brecker, Chris Potter), Billy Seidman, and composer Alan Ferber among others. In addition to performing, Parks spent time as a music intern on NBC’s Saturday Night Live during their 40th season affording him the opportunity to meet and work with artists such as, Prince, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, and Nicki Minaj.
Parks continues to write and perform at various venues throughout New York City. He is an adjunct faculty member at NYU teaching guitar and is currently working on a new full-length album to be released in late 2015. Stay tuned!