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There are stories we tell ourselves. There are stories we tell our friends. There are the stories we tell strangers. There are stories we never tell.
 
Somewhere, in the middle of all of this, is the Third Story. The intersection between the art and the craft, making a living and doing the living, the personal and the professional…The place where all of these meet is the Third Story.

The Third story features long-form interviews with creative people of all types, hosted by me, Leo Sidran. Their stories of discovery, loss, ambition, identity, improvisation, risk, and reward are deeply moving and compelling for all of us as we embark on our own creative journeys.

In addition to my passion for discovering and sharing the stories of others, I have built a career in New York as a musician and producer. Learn more at leosidran.com.

Feb 5, 2019

How does pianist Aaron Parks describe himself? “A bit odd. I play piano, write songs, and take pictures of doors with my phone.”

Raised on a small island near Seattle, Washington, Aaron found himself hungry for more creative and intellectual stimulation than his immediate surroundings could offer. He enrolled in college at the age of 14, studying music, math and computer science. It wasn’t long before he dropped the math and computer stuff and focused on music; he moved to New York at age 16 to study at the Manhattan School of Music, and by age 18 he was playing, recording and touring in Terence Blanchard’s band.

So, yeah, a bit odd.

Besides playing with Blanchard, Parks has performed with a variety of artists including trumpeter Christian Scott, drummer Kendrick Scott, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, and others. Parks has released several albums under his own name, including his 2008 Blue Note debut, Invisible Cinema and his latest project Little Big. 

We met in Brooklyn on one of the coldest days of the year to talk about composition (“I love perfect asymmetry”), mathematics, thinking about touch, and no longer being the youngest person in the room. 

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