Doris Duke Artist Award, 2013
New York, NY
William Parker has been a central figure in creative music; committed to the art of improvisation and kinetic composition since the 1970s jazz loft scene. His bass playing is noted for his extended techniques in arco and pizzicato; he frequently plays shakuhachi, double reeds, the doson ngoni, and gimbre. He has been a key member of Arts for Art and the Vision Festival, which has in turn helped to promote improvised music forms. He has released about 40 recordings, recently Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield Box Set (AUM Fidelity, 2010); Essence of Ellington (Centering, 2012); and a six album set, William Parker Unreleased Early Recordings 1976–87 (NoBusiness, 2012). As an educator, he has taught at Bennington College, The New School, New England Conservatory of Music, Cal Arts, and Rotterdam Conservatory of Music. He is a theorist and author of several books including who owns music?, Sound Journal, and The Mayor of Punkville. Recently, he restaged his soundtrack to the 1965 Jean Luc Goddard Film, Alphaville Suite, at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY. Throughout 2013, he toured with the French-American Peace Ensemble—an all-star collaboration of master improvisers that received a French-American Jazz Exchange grant.