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Originally published Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Aaron Parks set to release Blue Note debut

Seattle wunderkind jazz pianist Aaron Parks signs to Blue Note, leads band for album "Invisible Cinema"

Seattle Times staff reporter

Brooklyn-dwelling Seattle native Aaron Parks (www.myspace.com/aparksmusic), the pianist the Seattle Times' jazz critic Paul De Barros says is a "musical genius," has signed to the most famous label in jazz, Blue Note Records. His debut album for the label, called "Invisible Cinema," comes out Aug. 19.

The signing and release come after years spent touring and recording with award-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard, contributing to three Blue Note albums in the process. Thusly apprenticed, "Invisible Cinema" is Parks' cotillion.

Famous for skipping high school and going directly to the University of Washington at 14 and tranferring to the Manhattan School of Music at 16, he was frequently called a wunderkind. Now 25, he's contributed music to several Spike Lee films, including Katrina documentary "When The Levees Broke."

A recent Parks concert got a rave review in the New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2008/05/30/arts/music/30park.html) and "Invisible Cinema" has been reviewed in advance by Nick Catalano for All About Jazz, who wrote it "gives further impetus to the suspicion that something very new and exciting is afoot in jazz" (www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=29927).

Andrew Matson: 206-464-2153 or amatson@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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