Walter Parks "Swamp By Chandelier"

Back again this year is jazz and blues guitarist Walter Parks in Swamp by Chandelier. The former lead guitarist for Richie Havens was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and he makes sure to incorporate a little Florida flair into every performance. With a unique, swamp-inspired style of finger picking and raspy vocals, Parks fuses traditional Southern rock riffs with the rhythm and blues, creating a unique sound of his own. In Swamp by Chandelier, Walter Parks will give you a taste of North Florida in his one-man guitar production inspired by the historic sounds of the Okefenokee Swamp.

Walter Parks was born and raised in Jacksonville Florida, where he first developed an interest in music after picking up the viola during music class. Parks soon learned that guitar was his instrument of choice, and the aspiring musician started his first group in 1973 called The Parental Tears Band. After momentarily enrolling in business school at the University of Georgia, Walter Parks realized that his true passion was music, and dropped out to return to Jacksonville in the 1980s to start a fusion jazz band called The Sneakers. Parks won a talent contest in 1989 and by 1991, the guitarist had formed The Nudes with cellist Stephanie Winters. The group produced three albums and toured successfully through the United States, performing at colleges and folk festivals. Parks shot to stardom in 2001, when legendary singer-songwriter Richie Havens invited him to join the band.

Parks toured with Havens until 2011, when he decided to return to his roots and form Swamp Cabbage, a band that blends blues and jazz with North Florida southern rock. The group has recorded three albums, and their latest album Jive was released in April 2016. The name of the group comes from the delicacy made from the Sabal palm tree, which has been stewed by Creeks, Timuquans, Seminole and other native Floridians for centuries. Always inspired by the natural and cultural landscape of North Florida, Parks makes an effort to incorporate the sound of the swamp into every performance. For his performance at The Lyric Theatre, Parks is bringing back Swamp by Chandelier, a solo guitar performance that features an arrangement of Walter Parks’ own compositions as well as some of the guitarist’s favorite inspirations, including acoustic works by the legendary Richie Havens as well as some modernized interpretations of historic music from the Library of Congress archives.