Dion Parson

Dion Parson is a drummer, educator, composer, and one of New York’s finest, GRAMMY-award- winning drummers. Born on June 11, 1967 on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, Parson’s musical foundation ranges from classical, reggae, calypso, jazz, african, and pop music. Parson attended Rutgers University in New Jersey where he studied percussion with Keith Copeland and William Moersch. He received a BM in Music Education in 1990 and his Masters in Jazz Performance in 2012. Parson also studied with master drummer Michael Carvin who remains his mentor.

Parson moved to New York in 1990, where he quickly became part of the jazz scene, playing with a variety of artists, including such greats as Milt Jackson, Monty Alexander, Ernest Ranglin, Jon Faddis, Steve Turre, Donald Harrison, Terence Blanchard, Geri Allen, Ray Anderson, Lee Konitz, Dianne Reeves, Wycliffe Gordon, Cyrus Chestnut and Elio Villafranca. Parson has performed globally in Asia, Europe, Canada, the West Indies, Africa, and the Middle East. He has also recorded for several major labels, including Columbia, Sony, Gramavision, Arabesque, Blue Note, High Five, Verve, Enja, Koch Records, and Concord Records. Parson is the leader of the Dion Parson & 21 st Century Band, and he has released 6 recordings with his band.

Parson has taught at several educational facilities, to include Rutgers University, Harlem School of the Arts (NY), Cheyney University (PA), New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Jazz for Teens program, Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ), Snow Pond Center for the Arts in Sidney Maine, the Conservatory of Amsterdam (Netherlands), and he currently serves as the Chair of the Communication and Performing Arts Department at the University of the Virgin Islands.

Always passionate in giving back to his community, in 2009 Parson founded the program “Mentoring Through the Arts of Music”, under the auspices of United Jazz Foundation, of which he is President. United Jazz Foundation (UJF) is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to identify, educate, and mentor students who aspire to pursue a career in music, as well as developing program curriculum (Pre-K through High School) which consists of performance activities and experiences through music.

Dion Parson endorses Ludwig Drums, Dream Cymbals, Evens Drum Heads, Reunion Blues – Quality gig-bags and cases and Promark drumsticks.