Parker and Thomas Duo @ Encore

William Parker





Parker and Thomas Duo @ Encore


This is a free event.

  • William Parker, bass/compositions
  • Kenn Thomas, keyboard

Event Details

This performance takes place at Encore Records, 417 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor

Can't wait til Wednesday for the fun to begin? Whet your Edgefest appetite with this informal, impovisational Fringe performance by William Parker and Kenn Thomas at one of our favorite places in town, Encore Records! 

Tickets to Edgefest are $10 - $30 for individual ticketed events, with a limited number of student tickets available for most performances. An Edgepass ($135) is available, which allows for admission to all events, as well as a special dinner with our Edgefest artists. A Saturday daypass is available for $50.

Edgefest is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts. This  "Fringe" event is also supported by Encore Records.

William Parker

William Parker is a master musician, improviser, and composer. He plays the bass, shakuhachi, double reeds, tuba, donso ngoni and gembri. He was born in 1952 in the Bronx, New York. He studied bass with Richard Davis, Art Davis, Milt Hinton, Wilber Ware, and Jimmy Garrison. He entered the music scene in 1971 playing at Studio We, Studio Rivbea, Hilly’s on The Bowery and The Baby Grand, playing with many musicians on the avant-garde school Bill Dixon, Sunny Murray, Charles Tyler, Billy Higgins, Charles Brackeem, Alan Silva, Frank Wright, Frank Lowe, Rashid Ali, Donald Ayler, Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor, Jimmy Lyons, Milford Graves and with traditionalists like Walter Bishop, Sr. and Maxine Sullivan. Early projects with dancer and choreographer Patricia Nicholson created a huge repertoire of composed music for multiple ensembles ranging from solo works to big band projects. Parker played in the Cecil Taylor unit from 1980 through 1991. He also developed a strong relationship with the European Improvised Music scene playing with musicians such as Peter Kowald, Peter Brotzmann, Han Bennink, Tony Oxley, Derek Bailey, Louis Sclavis, and Louis Moholo. He began recording in 1994 and leading his own bands on a regular basis founding two ensembles, In Order To Survive, and The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. In 2001, Parker released O’Neal’s Porch, which marked a turn toward a more universal sound working with drummer Hamid Drake. The Raining on the Moon Quintet followed, adding vocalist Leena Conquest and the Quartet from O’Neal’s Porch. Most notable among many recent projects is the Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield. He has taught at Bennington College, NYU, The New England Conservatory of Music, Cal Arts, New School University and Rotterdam Conservatory of Music. He has also taught music workshops throughout the world including Paris, Berlin and Tokyo and the Lower East Side. Parker is also a theorist and author of several books including the Sound Journal, Document Humanum, Music and the Shadow People and The Mayor of Punkville.

Kenn Thomas

Kenn Thomas is a pianist and synthesizer player who lives in Ypsilanti, and just happens to be Oluyemi’s brother. He performs widely in different contexts in our area, and was featured at last year’s Edgefest. He can be heard in a quartet setting together with his brother on Nigeria, released by the Polish label Not Two.