Originally from Berkeley, California, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist Kela Parker grew up playing classical piano and exploring alternate tunings on the guitar. Out of these varied musical influences, she began making music in the fertile indie scene of Portland, Oregon. Now based in New York City, Parker explores an emotive and evocative sound world with a distinct harmonic sensibility and musical voice. Her avant indie sound invites the listener on a journey that has been called enigmatic, genre-bending and magical, “like folk music–but from a country you’ve never heard of before.”
Her first album in 2011 was noted for its sharp musicianship and breadth of musical styles, spanning stride piano, pastoral folk harmonies, indie rock, and unusual song structures. The follow-up, “Searching & Sewing” (2013), was described as “like folk–but folk music from a country you’ve never heard of before.” (Join the mailing list to receive a free song). Having always been influenced by new classical and art music, Parker’s instrumental compositions have been performed by members of Bang on a Can (2015), the Brooklyn Brass Quintet, and violinist and composer Roger Zahab. In 2016 she arranged for the Portland Jazz Composer’s Ensemble with Catherine Feeny and Chris Jonedis, and sat in as a vocalist on genre-crossing projects including Douglas Detrick’s Tale in the Telling. Her third album is in the final stages of production and slated for late 2017.