Maceo Parker Scott Nurkin Mural.

Maceo Parker, born in 1943 in Kinston, North Carolina, is an iconic American funk and soul saxophonist renowned for his collaborations with James Brown, George Clinton, and Prince. Beginning his musical journey under his father's guidance, Parker's talents flourished, leading to his pivotal role in James Brown's band, The J.B.'s, during the 1960s. His dynamic saxophone solos and stage presence became emblematic of the funk genre, solidifying his international acclaim. Throughout the decades, Parker's solo career soared with albums like "Roots Revisited" and "Life on Planet Groove," showcasing his fusion of funk, jazz, and soul. His influence transcends generations, inspiring musicians worldwide, while his electrifying performances continue to captivate audiences, cementing his legacy as a true pioneer of funk music.

You have to love what you do. And in order to do that, you have to search your soul to find out what it is that you really are about. 


Maceo Parker, born on February 14, 1943, in Kinston, North Carolina, is a legendary American funk and soul saxophonist, known for his remarkable contributions to the genre and his collaborations with iconic figures like James Brown, George Clinton, and Prince.

Parker's musical journey began in his youth when he was introduced to the saxophone by his father. His early influences included the likes of Ray Charles and Junior Walker. He honed his skills while studying music at North Carolina A&T State University before embarking on his professional career.

In the 1960s, Parker's path intertwined with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, where he became an integral member of Brown's band, The J.B.'s. His distinctive saxophone solos and energetic stage presence became synonymous with Brown's funk sound, elevating him to international acclaim.

Throughout the 1970s, Parker's career soared as he continued to collaborate with various funk and soul artists, including George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic collective. His saxophone prowess and dynamic performances solidified his status as one of the most influential figures in funk music.

In the 1990s, Parker's solo career gained momentum with the release of his own albums, including "Roots Revisited" and "Life on Planet Groove," showcasing his unique blend of funk, jazz, and soul. His electrifying live performances captivated audiences worldwide, earning him a devoted fan base.

Beyond his musical contributions, Maceo Parker's influence extends to future generations of musicians, inspiring countless artists across genres. His unparalleled talent and unwavering dedication to his craft have secured his legacy as a true pioneer of funk music, earning him numerous accolades and awards throughout his illustrious career. Today, Maceo Parker continues to perform, enchanting audiences with his infectious groove and timeless saxophone melodies.


North Carolina has honored Maceo Parker's influence on the music landscape by presenting him with the esteemed North Carolina Heritage Award.