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Robert Parker

Inception

San Diego , 1982

Influences

Ramsey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Smith, Oscar Petersen, Chick Corea, Joe Sample, Floyd Cramer, Glenn Gould, Emanuel Ax, Billy Childs, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett
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Based in North County San Diego, keyboardist Robert Parker is a graduate of the Drake University instrumental music program, as well as being an inductee in the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In a career spanning over four decades, Parker has played with everything from concert bands (bass horn) and orchestras (violin and double bass), to jazz, country, rock, R&B, and fusion bands.

Parker first earned local notice in the early 1980s with his jazz band Purl. “I wandered into a place called Carlsbad by the Sea [retirement home] and noticed they had a nice piano. I asked if I could play, and the next thing I know, they were offering me a job. It turns out there are thousands of those places.”

Among his favorite projects is a series of recordings for Wolf Marshall in connection with his Guitar Signature Licks series for Hal Leonard Music. In 2010, Parker was inducted into the Iowa/Midwest Music Heritage Hall of Fame. Five years later, he showed no signs of slowing down. “In 2015, I actually did 347 performances,” he told the Reader. “That was way too many, sometimes four gigs in a single day. I just started collecting Social Security this year, and I’m trying to whittle the shows down to around 200 per year.”

Parker frequently performs at retirement homes, estimating they make up 80 percent of his gigs. Mostly, Parker says he performs themes from the 1930s and the '40s. But, he also admits to a little Elton John, and maybe some Beatles. “And they say, I know that song because my kids listen to that.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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