the short story
Kenny Parks is a versatile and experienced musician who was raised as a "military brat" on various bases in the U.S. and overseas before moving to Atlanta, Georgia with his family shortly before starting high school. He decided that he wanted to be a musician at the age of 5 after watching the legendary drummer Buddy Rich perform on Johnny Carson's popular Tonight Show. After constantly asking his parents for a set of drums, Kenny finally received (as a Christmas gift) - a snare drum, a cymbal, and a beginner's instruction book.
Living at Tachikawa AFB, Japan at the time - his parents took him to visit a friend who was the drummer for the Officer's Club House Band. Although that friend provided a few lessons to get started, Kenny eventually taught himself how to read drum charts and rudiments with the assistance of instruction books. Eventually he was able to read music quite well by the time he was old enough to play in the school concert band and marching band.
Influenced by a wide variety of musicians, some of Kenny's favorite drummers while growing up were Buddy Rich, Ringo Starr, Al Jackson (the legendary Stax Records session drummer), John Bonham, Steve Ferrone and James Brown's legendary drummers, plus a few others on the short list. During high school Kenny began taking piano lessons and studying music theory, and eventually became a songwriter. Some of his favorite piano players include Billy Joel, Billy Preston, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John.
After graduating from high school, Kenny was accepted for enrollment at the world renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts - which he attended for the next 3 years. This was followed by a move to New York City which was the beginning of a long experience of working with a diverse collection of musicians and songwriters on gigs, tours, and recording sessions that have taken him around the world. He has performed in almost every possible setting from restaurant gigs with a jazz trio, to casino showrooms, to high profile festivals backing up artists in front of thousands of people, as well as television audiences.
Over the years Kenny has performed with and/or recorded with Zakiya Hooker (daughter of blues legend John Lee Hooker), blues artists Theodis Ealey, Chick Willis, and the legendary 50's rhythm & blues singer Tommy Brown just to name a few. Some of the tours and gigs he's played on provided the opportunity to open up for such legendary artists as Billy Eckstein, Bobby Rush, Koko Taylor, Lester Chambers (of the legendary Chambers Brothers), and Lucky Peterson.
Currently working with the high energy show band - "Kenny Parks and The Classics", Kenny divides his time between Atlanta and Nashville as he continues to write, record and publish his own compositions and collaborate with other original artists.