E.J. Parker began studying bass at the age of thirteen in his home town of Cleveland, Ohio. During high school, E.J.’s development on the double bass and bass guitar was rapid, playing at many of the top jazz clubs in town with the area’s best talent.
Parker won a scholarship to attend The Dana School of Music, here he majored in jazz performance under the direction of Tony Leonardi.
While in college E.J. performed with the likes of Kenny Burrell, Cyrus Chestnut, Sean Jones (Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra), Bucky Pizzarelli, Maria Schneider, James Newton, Greg Bandy and Joanne Brackeen. After college Parker toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Buddy Morror. After sometime on the road E.J. returned to free lancing,teaching, and recording sessions for all genres of music.
In the summer of 2004 E.J. moved to Shanghai, China to work with trombone virtuoso Andy Hunter.
Parker has since been touring with many bands all over the world. These tours include: Montreal Jazz Fest 06 (Canada), the first International Helsinki Jazz Fest 05 (Finland), Yokohama Jazz Promenade 07(Japan), Penang Jazz Fest 07 (Malaysia), Hamburg Germany’s 2008 Reeperbahn Music Festival, The JZ Music Festival 05-09(Shanghai, China) Thailand’s Bangkok Music Festival 05, President George W. Bush’s 2001 Inauguration Ball in Washington D.C., Ninth Gate Jazz Festival 07-08 (Beijing, China), The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Tri C Jazz Fest (Cleveland, Ohio), The Hangzhou Jazz Fest 08-09, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance Hall, The Royal Ontario Art Museum, Toronto 07 and The Spectrum Theater(Washington D.C. 07).
While based in Shanghai, E.J. has worked with many top level musicians from around the world. He has had the pleasure to work with: American jazz great Dee Dee Bridgewater, Laura Fygi, Chinese pop star Shunzi (recording session 2010), Taiwanese pop star and famed producer Li Zong Sheng ( Beijing recording session 08), trumpet great Ryan Kiser, jazz drummer Willie Jones III, James Morrison, Ernie Krivda, Lance Bryant, The Coasters, Danish singing sensation Sinne Eeg and many others. Parker has also made music for Honda, Fendi, China Mobile, Rolex, Johnnie Walker, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Maybach, Chivas, Tudao.com, Dunhill and others.
Parker is currently performing with the following bands: The JZ All Star Big Band, Lawrence Ku’s Red Groove Project, famed Chinese jazz vocalist Coco Zhao’s band – The Possicobilities, Zina Punx, gypsy/folk trio Wayne’s Basement and many other projects.
E.J. is also on faculty at the JZ School (one of China’s first jazz institutes) as its head bass teacher. He has also made contributions to the jazz education textbook ‘Jazz Styles: History and Analysis’ by Mark C. Gridley.