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One-on-one with Maceo Parker

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Friday September 12, 2014

From The Indianapolis Recorder

One-on-one with Maceo Parker
By: Victoria Davis

It was his unforgettable solos for legendary entertainer James Brown in 1960s’ that helped Maceo Parker steal the spotlight and catapult a solo career as a funk and soul jazz saxophonist. As a part of the Indy Jazz Fest, Parker will be celebrating music as he performs at the Madame Walker Theatre Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. The Recorder got a chance to speak with Parker as he prepared to grace the stage.

Recorder: You have experienced and accomplished a lot since the 60s’.What has been the highlight of your jazz career?

Parker: I did a project with a group in Germany called WDR Big Band where I performed Ray Charles music. I’m excited about doing what I do. As a kid I always hoped to travel around the world and perform. I’m thrilled and thankful just to be invited to visit places.

Over the years you have musically mastered multiple instruments including the piano. How did you know the saxophone was the instrument that would bring your career to its feet?

During early television, I saw a lot of big bands where the saxophone player would get up from behind the orchestra and walk to the center of the stage, then play a solo. I thought that was really cool. To see people on stage reading music and then all of a sudden it’s a switch of pace when the soloist comes up. I knew I could do it. I started playing piano when I was 3 years old but my mother told me “the piano isn’t a marching band instrument and you’re going to need one to do what they do.” Ever since then I played the saxophone.

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