Southport Records Celebrates 40 Years of Sparrow
Bradley Parker-Sparrow – known by his followers simply as Sparrow – has been a force on the Chicago jazz scene in numerous ways for the last four decades. As the founder of Southport Records, he has produced essential albums by artists ranging from Windy City tenor legends Von Freeman and Fred Anderson to Japanese-born bassist Tatsu Aoki to modern classical composer George Flynn. He founded the Sparrow Sound Design studio on Southport in 1977 when he was 23. A pianist and composer, he made his recording debut two years later with Latin Black and has gone on to release such ambitious albums as The Desert Rat Suite and We Are Not Machines. He also has written music for films and plays.
Through it all, Sparrow has partnered with his wife, singer Joanie Pallatto, his invaluable right hand woman in the studio. For more than a dozen years, they presided over the “Southport Records Presents” series at Katerina’s. Last year, Sparrow and Pallatto were named Chicago Jazz Heroes by the Jazz Journalists Association. Today, joined by bassist John Devlin and drummer Luiz Ewerling, they’ll celebrate Sparrow’s many and varied achievements.