City of Light  Productions

City of Light Productions

BandHip Hop

Biography

Paris Strother was barely walking and talking when she discovered the piano-her father, Curtis, played gospel keyboards and sang in church. Paris could pick out melodies she heard him play as early as age two, and sometime around age three or four, she started formal lessons. Paris continued her studies under the instructions of various gospel, Suzuki and classical piano teachers until she discovered jazz when she was in eighth grade. From that point on, she knew she had found an art form that she wanted to make into a career. By the age of 13, she began to play professionally around Minneapolis for such events as mayoral inaugurations and fundraisers, and soon graduated to playing the most renowned jazz clubs in the Twin Cities by age 15. By the time she finished high school, Paris had already performed with some of the Twin Cities’ best performers and musicians. She then took the most practical step towards turning her passion into a career; she decided to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music.
Berklee proved to be a challenge for Paris, but a challenge she welcomed. The encouraging yet intimidating climate pushed her to better her craft, and by the end of her second year had graced every stage, big and small, at Berklee, including playing for the acclaimed Singer’s Showcase and Singer’s Night shows. Her hard work not only earned her performance opportunities, but other opportunities as well; she auditioned and was selected to be the musical director for Jetro DeSilva’s Diva’s Ensemble in the fall 2005 semester, recorded 11 studio session projects, and was a member of 6 different bands. She easily adapted to the different styles that all of these opportunities called for, ultimately transforming her into a talented artist in many different genres. One of her bands, Incident Outlook, was even sponsored to take a month long tour of Holland and Russia, playing some of the best jazz and pop venues in the country. She managed all of these activities while maintaining a stellar GPA, placing her on the Dean’s list for every semester she has been at Berklee.
Paris’ talent has garnered her much attention and many awards, including an institutional endowment from Berklee College of Music,the Edward Bazinet Foundation Village Scholars Program Scholarship for the Arts, the Mary Minell Scholarship for Education, The Minneapolis Urban League Scholarship, The Minneapolis/St. Paul Links Scholarship for Academic Achievement, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority African American Achievement Scholarship, and the DeLaSalle Alumni Scholarship. In the Spring of 2004, she was awarded with the honor of becoming the first female finalist in the auditions for the Dave Brubeck Institution Fellowship program. She has been featured in a number of media articles, including writings in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, The Jazz Police Online Jazz Review.
Now entering her fifth semester at Berklee, she’s keeping busy double-majoring in film scoring and contemporary production, all the while honing her skills to be an excellent musician. Paris has developed into a “noteworthy talent”, Keep an eye on her!