A stunningly talented singer, Lizzy Parks caught Tru Thoughts’ attention via her involvement with the Nostalgia 77 and Nostalgia 77 Octet projects. She has loved and lived music all her life with the help of an old clarinet (in the very early years), piano, tenor sax and, of course, her vocal chords. She grew up in Devon in the South West of England but opted for a taste of city life when she moved to Birmingham to study Jazz at university.
There she did most of her growing up (musically and the rest!) and had the pleasure of playing with some great musicians including Chris Bowden (a killer sax player) who asked her to sing on his ‘Slightly Askew’ album for Ninja Tune in 2001. This and other early successes set the scene for her musical journey. Further sessions followed for various labels and artists including tracks such as Nostalgia 77’s ‘Hope Suite’ for Tru Thoughts, which was nominated for Gilles Peterson’s BBC Radio One’s Track of the Year 2005, and Will Saul’s ‘Space Between’ (Simple).
She then worked on her debut album ‘Watching Space’ in 2005 for indie label The Birds and settled in North London where she lives and works, on her own music and a variety of new and exciting projects with artists including Nostalgia 77. She can frequently be found live on stage with the Nostalgia 77 Octet and on occasion The Heritage Orchestra (Brownswood) and of course in her own band, as, you guessed it, Lizzy Parks.
Over the years Lizzy has performed at some wonderful venues including The Jazz Café, Cargo, The National Theatre, The Royal Festival Hall, The Spitz, Ronnie Scotts, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Glastonbury Festival, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and the Gateshead International Jazz Festival, as well as internationally in Denmark, Portugal, Bratislava, Athens, Ghent, Belgium and Germany.
Lizzy describes her music: “To be honest, I love a lot, I listen a lot and I sing a lot and I’m always happiest sharing what I can find with anyone who’ll take the time to listen”. At the Big Chill 2008, she did just that, with a series of impromptu acoustic performances that drew an impressive crowd of revellers, curious to see who was behind the dulcet tones they could hear drifting along on the breeze.
Lizzy’s debut album for Tru Thoughts (produced by Nostalgia 77) came out on 22nd September 2008, entitled Raise the Roof. It was preceded by a 7” single of the same name in August. The quirky, soulful jazz and stunning live musicianship of these releases garnered fantastic reactions from tastemakers around the world – including Laurent Garnier, Pete Isaac (Jelly Jazz) and Gilles Peterson, who has supported tracks on his BBC Radio 1 show – and firmly cemented Lizzy’s reputation as a bona fide soulful chanteuse for our times.
In 2009, hot on the heels of her debut album, Lizzy took her talent in a new direction with an acoustic album entitled This And That. A collection of totally new and exclusive acoustic material, interspersed with gloriously re-worked acoustic versions of songs from her previous album, ‘This And That’ sees Lizzy exploring new terrain, dipping into the worlds of folk, jazz and soul with her characteristic charm and lightness of touch.