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What happens when someone grows up in the shadow of New York City playing rock and funk music with a brother who introduces him to Mingus, Monk, and Ornette Coleman and a father who insists he listen to Mozart operas and Mahler symphonies? For Mike Parker it was extremely inspiring as a young bassist, but having a deep love for so many different styles of music posed a serious problem as he began to compose; 'What kind of music do I want to create?'.

After spending his university years working on the jazz scene with the area's top musicians, playing in the school orchestra, writing string quartets, and arranging Beatle's music (all while studying Psychology) finally there was an answer; create something that uniquely reflects all your inspirations. Critics have recognized the results, describing Parker's music as 'an ingenious synthesis of all musical genres' and a 'mix of post bop, indie rock, avant-garde and some inclinations for modern classical', noting 'Parker's mature and imaginative compositions and skillful arrangements', and saying his group's 'musical erudition is heard in the freedom with which they move between funk, bebop and free jazz atonal counterpoints'.

And so the MP Theory project began in 2011 when Parker, then 23, recorded his first album 'Prelude' in New York shortly before leaving for Europe. The quintet featured 3 horns, Parker's brother Keith on drums, and conspicuously no piano or chordal instrument. This instrumentation gave the band the ability to create a diversity of textures and colors while maintaining a harmonically and sonically open sound reminiscent of early Avant-Garde jazz groups and 'Mike Parker's Unified Theory' was the name chosen to reflect their leader's musical ambitions.

After traveling around Europe extensively, Parker settled in Krakow, Poland where he reformed the group with Slawek Pezda (tenor sax), Bartek Prucnal (alto sax), Cyprian Baszynski (trumpet), and Dawid Fortuna (drums), 4 of Poland's greatest young jazz talents. The group toured Central Europe in 2013 before recording 'Embrace the Wild', which was then released in 2014 to critical acclaim. Critics and audience-members alike have noted not only the wide-ranging musical inspirations heard in the music, but also the intensity and energy given to each composition's performance.

Parker's focus is currently on the trio incarnation of the project, dubbed 'Trio Theory', in which he is joined by long-time collaborator Slawek Pezda on tenor sax and Kurt Elling Quartet veteran Frank Parker on drums. The trio began in November '14 by completing a marathon tour of 27 concerts in 27 nights. Since then, they have played over 150 concerts across 9 countries including the Krokus Jazz Festival (PL), Jazz Festival Praha, Jazz Goes To Town (CZ), MediaWave Festival (HU), Jazzire Festival (RS), Targu Mures International Jazz Festival (RO), and many more. In April '16 they released 'Alive Out There', a live album recorded on their Fall '15 tour.



Tour dates

Recent Shows
MP Meta Pardubice Divadlo 29 Czech Republic
MP Meta Veseli nad Moravou Kino Morava Czech Republic
MP Meta Krakow Alchemia Poland
MP Trio Theory Trutnov Festival Kafe & Jazz Czech Republic
MP Meta Jaworki Muzyczna Owczarnia Poland
MP Meta Wetlina Stare Siolo Poland
MP Meta Warsaw 12/14 Jazz Club Poland
MP Trio Theory Budapest Lumen Hungary
MP Trio Theory Mindszentkalla MediaWave Festival Hungary
MP Meta w/ Dominik Wania Legnica Legnickie CK Poland



'For an all-acoustic jazz unit this band transmits an electrifying presence... Parker and associates produce music that is meaningful and inspiring. They kick some major tail as some might say, but while doing so, it's irrefutably evident that there's a lot going on under the hood, when considering the intricately designed moving parts.'
Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz

'An ingenious synthesis of all musical genres; a seemingly impossible combination of Charlie Parker with Michael Jackson's groove, sauced up with a defiance worthy of John Zorn... It is all that jazz should be: original, fresh, unpredictable, symbiotic in group improvisation, and all that with a sense of humor.'
Basia Gagnon, JazzPRESS March '15

'A confidently assured album from a band of extremely talented musicians who gel well together and which benefits from Parker's mature and imaginative compositions and skillful arrangements. More please.'
Roger Farbey, All About Jazz

'A huge plus for diversity, energetic riffs, meticulous harmonies and even catchy melodies. But it's worth it to appreciate how well these elements utilize the strengths of the musicians participating in the session.'
Bartosz Adamczak, Jazzarium

'Mike Parker shows his talent for underpinning a band that lives up to its 'unified' name on well thought through arrangements... Fine band. Fine album'
Ian Maund, Sandy Brown Jazz

'This mix of postbop, indierock, avantgarde and some inclinations for modern classical leads to music that shifts between sounds like scene changes at the theater and all the drama inherent in just such a production.'
Dave Sumner, Bird Is The Worm

'Their musical erudition is heard in the freedom with which they move between funk, bebop and free jazz atonal counterpoints.'
Basia Gagnon, JazzPRESS April '15

'Extraordinary rhythmic vigor and intense interplay, with ample room for improvisation.'
Giuseppe Mavilla, Scrivere di Jazz

'Embrace the Wild is not messing around with jazz cliche. It is unpredictable, changing it's temperament during its course. From harsh, roaring free-jazz quintet passages to clearer arrangements, different moods are artfully arranged with references to Parker's musical idols.'
Miroslav Bachura, Jazz.SK



Contact: mparker1656@gmail.com

Booking Inquiries: Mike.NewWorldBooking@gmail.com

For more information about Mike Parker's other projects, tour dates, videos, and more: www.mikeparkerbass.com


Page developed by Maciej Kupisiewicz
Graphic Design by Ania Brzozowska
Homepage and Bio photos by Kasia Kukielka