JD Parran has recently released his first CD as a leader entitled, JD Parran & Spirit Stage featuring the poetry of Shirley LeFlore on the Y’All label. The project is a multi-media presentation, with African-American creative music as a fulcrum and the heavy life-experience poetry of Ms. LeFlore on the edge.

In his hometown, St Louis, he was a member of the Black Artist Group (BAG). He has performed and/or recorded with Derek Bailey, Muhal Richard Abrams, Douglas Ewart, James Jabbo Ware, Quincy Troupe, Hamiet Bluiett, Lena Horne, Frank Foster, George E. Lewis, Leroy Jenkins, Don Byron, and Julius Hemphill, among others. For fifteen years he was a member of New Winds with Robert Dick and Ned Rothenberg as well as “Formal and Informal Music” with Tom Hamilton and Rich O’Donnell.

JD Parran is well known as a player of saxophones, clarinets and flutes. For two decades his featured instrument has been the rarely heard alto clarinet. During this time he collected and experimented with the almost extinct bass saxophone and is currently composing, performing and recording music for this instrument.

JD has been commissioned by New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Jerome Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and Meet The Composer.

A collaboration of JD Parran, Mixashawn and Bill Lowe. The members share pieces and perform in each others ensembles. This group has also been commissioned by Meet The Composer, and sponsored by World Music Institute.

Spirit Stage: Nuyorican Poets Café, Real Art Ways (Hartford,CT), Washington Square Church, Mills College, Vision Festival (NYC),Texaco Jazz Festival with The Oliver Lake Big Band and Joseph Bowie’s Defunkt, Library of Congress Series with Anthony Braxton; Salzburg Festival, music of Henry Threadgill.

Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (University of California, Berkeley), Reign G Rain at the Luggage Store (San Francisco), Sweat Shop, (San Francisco), Spearmanon.

He is currently teaching at BMCC, City University of New York. He was in residence Fall semester 1998 at Mills College Oakland, CA. JD Parran was at The Harlem School of the Arts, for 16 years, where he served as Music Department Chair as well as Director of Jazz and African-American Music studies (HSA JAAMS). He also taught many ensembles and woodwind students. He has taught at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

JD Parran 484 W 43rd Street #5-R NYC, 10036;  212/279-6426  email:

Updated on Nov 14 ’03