Connor Parks was born in Orlando, FL and began playing classical percussion at age 11. He learned how to read music and understand music theory at age 10 by studying the guitar, and at age 14 began playing the drums. Upon falling in love with the instrument, he passionately pursued both percussion and drum set studies with Beth Gottlieb and Danny Gottlieb until age 18.
Connor began his undergraduate work at the University of Central Florida, studying with Marty Morell. While living in Orlando, Connor was mentored by local hero Benoit Glazer, and performed often in the Jazz and Improvised Music community.
He transferred to the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York City, receiving a BFA in Jazz Studies. While at the New School, he was taught by Jane Ira Bloom, Reggie Workman, and Dave Douglas, & privately studied with Matt Wilson, Aaron Parks, Matt Brewer, Harish Raghavan, Amir Ziv, Ben Street, Gilad Hekselman, Johnathan Blake, and Dayna Stephens.
Upon arriving in New York City, Connor has grown to be a highly in-demand artist playing with countless peers and has performed with Vic Juris, Dave Glasser, JD Allen, Bobby Selvaggio, Eddie Henderson and rapper Mcklopedia. He has played at venues such as the Blue Note, Smalls, Cornelia Street Cafe, Shapeshifter Lab, Cleopatra’s Needle, Bar Next Door, the Blue Whale in Los Angeles, and festivals including Montreux Jazz Festival, the Bern International Jazz Festival, the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, and Muestra International de Jazz in Mexico City. Connor has also educated through Jazz at Lincoln Center’s ‘Jazz for Young People’ program.
As a composer, Connor has written music for ensembles ranging from duos to nonets with strings, and recently premiered a piece for the Joffrey School of Ballet in the spring of 2017. He is a member of the bands of many young luminaries, including Kalia Vandever, Arta Jekabsone, Lucas Kadish, Nick Dunston, and Theo Walentiny, as well as the improvised music outfit For Trees & Birds.
Connor will be on tour with Blue Note artist Kandace Springs in 2018, appearing live and on TV in the United States and internationally.
Connor endorses Innovative Percussion sticks & mallets, Canopus Drums and Paiste Cymbals.