Todd Parks is a Nashville, Tennessee based acoustic and electric bassist. He earned his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in String Performance and Jazz Studies from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) and studied with bassist Rusty Holloway, pianist Donald Brown, and drummer Keith Brown. While residing in Knoxville, Todd performed with acts such as Gran Torino, Robinella and the C.C. Stringband, JT and Saltines, and the Superfly Soundtrip. He also taught as an adjunct professor the University of TN and Lee University in Cleveland, TN. Upon completion of his Master’ s degrees in 2003, Todd moved to Nashville.
Upon arriving in Nashville, Todd quickly established himself as an in-demand sideman for artists from all over the musical map including Jack Pearson, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, Justin Thompson, Daybreak, Bee Gee Adair, Jody Nardone, Steve Kovalcheck, and Shane Roberts. In the spring of 2006, Todd began playing for the Jerry Douglas Band, and has toured and recorded extensively with Douglas since. Douglas enlisted Todd’ s talents on his records Glide (which includes the Grammy nominated “ Two Small Cars in Rome” ) and Jerry Christmas! Tours and performances include a summer and a fall supporting legendary singer Paul Simon in 2006, multiple appearances on “ A Prairie Home Companion,” festivals/venues such as Telluride Bluegrass, Merlefest, the Vancouver Island Folk Festival, New York’ s famed Blue Note, and Scotland’ s Celtic Connections, performing with Douglas’ s band and the All-Star finale concerts at the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall in 2007 and 2009, and touring supporting Douglas’ s Jerry Christmas along with singers Maura O’ Connell and John Oates. Todd also supported Douglas during his 2008 Artist-in-Residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame backing up artists such as Alison Krauss, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Travis Tritt, Maura O’ Connell, and Lloyd Green.
Todd is also featured on the BBC/RTE Television series Transatlantic Sessions, series 3 and 4, serving as house bassist and assistant to musical director Jerry Douglas, backing up artists including James Taylor, Rosanne Cash, Dan Tyminski, Joan Osborne, Paul Brady, Phil Cunningham, Aly Bain, Russ Barenberg, Tim O’ Brien, Darrell Scott, Julie Fowlis, just to name a few of the amazing talents featured on the show. An American broadcast of these programs is in the works.
In the Spring of 2010, Douglas opened one more door for Todd, recommending him to mandolin legend Sam Bush. The audition went well, and Bush welcomed Todd into his flock to head out on a whole new set of adventures. Those adventures so far include playing onstage with Edgar Meyer and Zakir Hussain and that was just at Telluride 2010! Other highlights in the few months since joining Bush’ s band include Rocky Grass, the Newport Folk Festival, and quoting the Muppet tune “Mahna Mahna” during band introductions whenever possible.
Todd Parks endorses Aguilar Amplification, Fishman Electronics, Montgomery Guitars and Rick Reeve Bows. His favorite color is green. Visit Todd on MySpace and check out www.sambush.com for tour dates.
Jerry Douglas: Glide (2008) Koch Records
Jerry Douglas: Jerry Christmas! (2009) E1 Entertainment