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Parker and the jazzmen

Hip-hop poet Parker Edison joins a couple of local jazz cats on his new project

Wordsmith Parker Edison is able to let his words breathe with a new jazz-based trio featuring Nate Hubbard and Harley Magsino.
  • Wordsmith Parker Edison is able to let his words breathe with a new jazz-based trio featuring Nate Hubbard and Harley Magsino.

“I’m doing performances in a trio with me on vocals, jazz drummer Nathan Hubbard, and jazz bassist Harley Magsino,” says Jack King, aka Parker Edison of hip-hop trio Parker & the Numberman. “We’ve definitely had some jazz heads come out, but Nate is super-respected, so cats come out just to see what he’s doing.”

"How to Improve Your Relationship"

...by Parker & the Numberman

...by Parker & the Numberman

Though the unlikely trio only recently performed their first dates, the idea for the live hip-hop/jazz jam dates back to a 2013 encounter. “I saw Nathan do a guerrilla drum performance on a random night.... The next year, I told him I wanted to do a guerrilla show as a remix video for my song ‘Apefood.’ We rehearsed with bassist Jerome Salazar and did it in three takes, on the fifth story of the SDSU parking lot.”

Edison’s new Parker Meridien EP, which drops April 14 via SmokeBreak Records, will be promoted with more mashup performances. “Halfway through this EP, I told Nate how I wanted to do a live band for my stage show and started funneling the demo versions of my songs to him before they were even mixed. He’d get them and compose and arrange these completely different renditions with sheet music for Harley, who came on his recommendation.”

For live dates, “The creative process is very much a relay race. One person has an idea, runs with it, the other guy gets it and takes it the next stretch.... As far as improv, I think we try to get it solid, but leave room for that. Which is one of the perks of working with jazz cats. They give the music room to breathe, instead of crowding a word onto every inch of the beat, the way rappers do.”

Past Event

Parker Edison and DJ E3

  • Thursday, April 28, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
  • Andaz San Diego, 600 F Street, San Diego

He’s hoping the performances will encourage listeners who might otherwise not come across a Parker & the Numberman release to give his EP a listen. “One of the things we want to do with this project is bring back clever marketing angles,” he says. “Every Monday in February, City College radio DJ Natalie ‘Natty J’ Jacobs played one song from the EP, and we invited people to critique them via Facebook, Twitter, and email. There were digital listening sessions.”

Parker Edison appears April 28 for a rooftop art show at Andaz downtown. “I’ll be doing an exclusive rap set with DJ E3 and selling the first batch of the Parker Meridien EP,” he says.

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