Guest performer Dr. Longineu Parsons II visited the Bolles Middle School Bartram Campus on February 5 and the Bolles Upper School San Jose Campus February 6 to speak with students about the impact of Black culture on American music.
These special Black History Month convocations, held in Parker Auditorium and McGehee Auditorium respectively, brought awareness to Parsons’ incredible musical journey across the world while underscoring the significant influence Black artists had – and still have – on countless genres.
A Jacksonville native, Parsons graduated from Florida A&M University alongside the late trumpeter Nat Adderley, who would become his mentor and lifelong friend. Parsons says he “instinctively plays the blues as a native language” and that his career, with its many musical pieces and parts, serves as a metaphor for what he calls “the disorder of the human tribe” – viewing music as a force against the disorder.
According to his website, Parsons presents a comprehensive arsenal of jazz not often heard, leveraging the technique developed through his classical training, the traditional jazz experience of his youth and the feel developed through his days on the Chitlin Circuit. He also holds advanced degrees in classical trumpet performance and composition.
Parsons has performed and recorded with an impressive list of music greats, including Adderley, Cab Calloway, Frank Foster, Billy Harper, Philly Joe Jones, Herbie Mann, David Murray, Sam Rivers, Cecil Taylor, Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson and others.
He is currently a professor of music at Florida A&M University, president of his record label, Tribal Disorder Records, and a touring musician with The Longineu Parsons Ensemble featuring Nat Adderley Jr.
Special thanks to Bolles Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Twyla Ashman and Bolles Coordinator of Inclusion and Belonging Michael Stephens for arranging Parsons’ visit to both campuses. #BollesFamily