261 – Khari Parker: Chicago Born & Bred, Playing with George Benson and Destiny’s Child, The Importance of Playing in a Room with People
Khari Parker has spent his entire life in Chicago. He began playing drums in church and became interested in jazz and fusion during his high school and college years. He left college to gig full time and hasn’t stopped since, remaining in high demand by acts spanning jazz, rock, R&B, and gospel. He gained notoriety playing with Destiny’s Child in the late 90’s and is currently the touring drummer for George Benson.
In this episode, Khari talks about:
- Going to a small regional college rather than a huge program
- How he would construct a college drumming curriculum
- The driving musical forces of the Chicago scene
- How remote tracking lacks the critical elements of in-person collaboration and in-the-moment invention
- Managing his energy during shows when he began playing arenas with Destiny’s Child
- The lineage of George Benson drummers (Gadd, Mason, et al)
Khari endorses Yamaha drums, Vic Firth sticks, and Sabian cymbals.