Saxophonist Duane Parham is one of the Motor City’s most beloved jazz artists. He is recognized as an innovator and top performer in Smooth Jazz, R&B and Gospel Music. Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Duane’s latest project, “Motor City Sax Appeal: My Tribute to the Motown Legends” delivers a Mo-Jazz tribute to Motown Records with guest appearances from some of the label’s most legendary performers. Guest appearances by The Four Tops, The Miracles, The Contours, The Original Vandellas, Pat Lewis, Carolyn Crawford, and five time Grammy award winner Michael J. Powell give this CD album an authentic Motown mix that blends wonderfully with Duane’s Mo-Jazz style. Duane, one of the Executive Producers on this project is joined by other talented producers such as Pat Lewis, Carl “Butch” Small and Maurice Whitsett.
As an artist, Duane has amassed several accolades acknowledging his talent and civic contributions. He is the recipient of three Mayoral Proclamations of Achievement from Mayors Coleman A. Young and Dennis W. Archer of Detroit along with Mayor Martha G. Scott of Highland Park, MI for his accomplishments in the development of Music Arts and his outstanding contribution to the progress of both communities.
Duane also received the Spirit of Detroit Award for producing and arranging “Dream Detroit,” a song co-written with the late Detroit Councilwoman Kay Everett. Most recently, Duane was inducted into the “Detroit Legends of Jazz Hall of Fame.” He holds the distinction of being the youngest person to join this elite fraternity at the time of his induction.
Duane takes an active role in contributing to the legacy of Jazz in Detroit with his Saxville Avenue Record label. Saxville has released several productions, including Duane’s recent CD entitled “Martin’s Dream” whereas he has been license by the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to release his music and poetry that includes parts of the original speech that was recorded in Detroit, “I Have A Dream.”
As a performer, Duane Parham has opened for noted Motivational Speakers Les Brown and Iyanla Vanzant, R&B and Soul singers Anita Baker, Martha Reeves, Freda Payne and Spider Turner. Duane has also performed alongside gospel greats Michael Matthews, The Clark Sisters, The legendary Shirley Caesar and Rance Allen.
In July 2010, Duane opened for the legendary George Duke at the 15th Annual Trenton Jazz Festival along with Saxophonist Euge Groove and Guitarist Tim Bowman. Also in July, 2010, Duane opened the Metro Jazz Festival in Warren, Michigan along with fellow jazz saxophonists Nelson Rangell, Mindi Abair and Spyro Gyra.
August 2012, Duane was nominated and voted “Best Horn Player of the Year,” by the Detroit Black Music Award. Also, in the same month Duane received a testimonial resolution and the Spirit of Detroit Award for his documentary DVD production,
“The Unsung Musicians of the Motown Empire.” It’s all about the legendary horn players that played for Motown and their names were never mentioned.
In the same month 2012, Duane extended his voice worldwide as a radio Internet DJ on KATS Radio / www.katsEntertainment.com. Every Sunday 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. E.S.T.
Duane’s talents reach beyond just making music. He has written, produced, directed and performed in the musical drama, “Alone in This World” a play focusing on the strength of family, the perils of drug abuse, and the spiritual uplifting from Gospel and Jazz music in the church.
Along with his many artistic pursuits, Duane still finds time to share his gifts with young people who are looking to develop their musical talents. Duane has taught music at Marygrove College at the Continuing Education Kid’s College Department, where he showcased local talent. He also taught music at St. Ambrose Academy Middle School in Detroit, MI.
True to his gospel roots, Duane serves as a saxophonist at Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, and formally served at Transforming Love Community Church, for 8 years where he serves as the Minister of Music.