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Batumi TARABUA BEACH CLUB / 20 July 2009

Parker was born in Kinston, North Carolina. His father played piano and drums; his mother and father both sang in church. His brother Melvin played drums and his brother Kellis trombone.[1]

He and his brother, Melvin, joined James Brown in 1964; in his book, Brown says that he originally wanted Melvin as his drummer, but agreed to take Maceo under his wing as part of the deal.[citation needed] Parker, his brother Melvin, and a few of Brown’s band members left to found Maceo & All the King’s Men which toured for two years. In 1973, Parker returned to James Brown’s band the J.B.’s. He also charted a single “Parrty – Part I” (#71 pop singles) with Maceo & the Macks that year. In 1975, Parker and some of Brown’s band members, including Fred Wesley, left to join George Clinton’s band Parliament-Funkadelic.

Parker once again joined James Brown from 1984 to 1988. In the 1990s, Parker finally established a successful solo career. He has released seven solo records and has been playing 100 to 150 tour dates per year. His average play time on stage is more than two and a half hours.

In 1993, Parker made guest appearances on hip-hop group De La Soul’s album Buhloone Mindstate. In the late 1990s, Parker began contributing semi-regularly to recordings by Prince and accompanying his band, the New Power Generation, on tour. He also played on the Jane’s Addiction track “My Cat’s Name Is Maceo” (named after him, or Perry Farrell’s cat, or both), for their 1997 compilation album Kettle Whistle.

In 1998, Parker performed as a guest on What Would You Say on a Dave Matthews Band concert which also became one of their live cd’s, Live in Chicago 12.19.98.

In 2007, Parker supported Prince during his stint of 21 nights at the O2 arena (London).

His current touring band includes bassist Rodney Skeet Curtis formerly of Parliament-Funkadelic, Bruno Speight (guitar) and Jamal Thomas (drums) formerly of SOS Band, Ron Tooley (trumpet) whose illustrious bio includes James Brown, Maynard Ferguson, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dennis Rollins (trombone) one of the UK’s finest jazz musicians. They have been billed as “The greatest little funk orchestra on earth” or the “Million dollar support band”.

Recently performed in his hometown Kinston, North Carolina, at the local NAACP building.

His latest album Roots & Grooves with the WDR Big Band is a tribute to Ray Charles whom Parker cites as one of his most important influences. The album has received huge critical acclaim, particularly in the US, and won a Jammie for best Jazz Album in 2009.

His gear consists of a Selmer Mark VI (alto) Saxophone together with a Selmer Brilhart ‘Ebolin’ #5 mouthpiece.

Artist NameInstrumentWebsite
Maceo ParkerSaxophone, Vocal
Ron TooleyTrumpet
Dennis RollinsTrombone
Will BoulwareKeyboards
Bruno SpeightGuitar
Rodney "SKEET" CurtisBass
Jamal ThomasDrums
Martha HighVocal
Neta HallVocal