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The best kept secret in music


"Like the great balladeers..."

Like the great balladeers of the ‘40s and ‘50s, Vinx boasts a dulcet-toned croon, which can envelop a romantic rhapsody or stretch into effortless volcalese. Add to that admirable quality an unparalleled talent for percussive invention, and an ear for moody sonic artistry and you have the unique mix showcased on Big ‘n’ Round…. - JazzTimes


"Imagine a classic R&B voice like those of Sam Cooke or Al Jarreau singing a capella over a boisterous percussion troupe and you might get a hold on Vinx’s magic…It’s his yearning voice, alternately full of both anguish and joy, that makes you listen.” - Modern Drummer

"Stevie Wonder"

“Vinx is the gift you give to someone that you really care about.” - Stevie Wonder


“There is sometimes complexity in Vinx’s simplicity…Vinx is a singer and percussionist, arranger and producer who calls his music “primal pop” because of the raw, stripped-down syncopation…and when Vinx wants to color his primal sounds with modern ones, he hooks up with the best. Aside from his ability to construct exciting rhythms, Vinx is a harmonious baritone vocalist with range, charisma, tounge-in-cheek humor and a fiery passion…” - Washington Post


“…Vinx is a remarkable musician who can croon in an ardent, enfolding baritone while tapping intricate, shifting patterns on hand drum…” - New York Times


“Imagine Bobby McFerrin’s sunny disposition blended with tribal drum patterns, L.A.’s and Babyface’s cool-headed approach to dance-pop juxtaposed with the instinctual elemental hooks of early Police. And Prince’s harsh, minimalist backgrounds supporting vocals that rival Nat “King” Cole’s for sweetness…a powerful effortless tunesmith and a vocalist of uncommon subtlety and understanding.” - Philadelphia Inquirer


“The first time I saw Vinx was in a little club in Santa Monica called “At My Place”. I’d just been to the movies and was walking back to my car when it started to rain, so I stepped into the club, ordered a beer and sat down to wait for the rain to stop. At the other end of the club there was a guy with blue hair playing an African talking drum. Just him and a drum, no band; I could hear every nuance and inflection of his baritone voice swooping and soaring through melodies that had me open mouthed, gaping in that telling combination of wonder and envy that great artists sometimes provoke. The most interesting thing about his melodies was that within a single vocal line he was able to suggest the harmonic structure of the song without an accompanying chordal instrument. This is a rare talent. I stayed until the end of the set and introduced myself backstage. I asked if he had a record contract, he said he didn’t; now he does. I wanted this record to produce the same effect on the listener that our accidental meeting had on me. He is unique. His music didn’t need to be overly dressed up, it is already elegant. My job as producer was merely to be enthusiastic; you don’t advise those who already know, you don’t have to fire up someone who is already burning with passion. Vinx has something to say. Let him tell you himself.” - Sting


Little Drummer Boy (2002)
The Mood I'm In (2002)
One (2001)
Vinx Demos (December, 2000)
Club 1600 (2000)
Big ‘n’ Round (1999)
Jungle Funk "Live" (1998)
Lips Stretched Out (1996)
More Music From Northern Exposure (1990-1995 Television Series) Soundtrack (1994)
The Storyteller (1993)
I Love My Job (1992)
Rooms In My Fatha’s House (1991)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Who is Vinx? Most people know him as…One man. One voice. One drum. As you will discover, Vinx is much more. Vinx’s music transcends languages and borders. This is evident from his international touring schedule and cult-like popularity. Vinx has taken the wisdom of his mother to heart. She often told him that "You can’t sing of life unless you live."

So… the journey starts in 1976, when Vinx attended Kansas State University on a track scholarship. In 1977, hate nearly took away Vinx’s athletic career and his life when racists burned down his house, along with the home of another black family living in his Kansas City suburb. Vinx was severely burnt by the fire. He overcame his injuries and three years later made the world’s second longest leap in the triple jump. This qualified Vinx for the 1980 Moscow Olympics. When President Jimmy Carter called for an Olympic boycott that year, Vinx’s athletic goals were put on hold.

A deejay in college, Vinx also performed with the Kansas State Jazz Band. In 1978, Taj Mahal invited Vinx to perform with him at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. When Vinx’s Olympic dream was deferred, he turned his back on track, but after two years returned as an assistant coach for the women’s track team at the University of Texas. In Texas, Vinx rediscovered his Olympic ambitions and began working toward the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. After an injury at the trials took him out of the running for the ’84 Olympics, Vinx stayed in Los Angeles and began working as a fitness trainer for the rich and famous. His clients included Stevie Wonder, George Hamilton and Marisa Tomei.

Vinx’s early years in Los Angeles brought him much triumph and tragedy as he transitioned from his athletic past to his musical future. In 1987, Vinx landed his first recording session with Ernie Watts on his Grammy awarded Musican project. Following Tom Jones’ recording of Vinx’s ballad "Touch My Heart," Vinx toured extensively with the likes of Rickie Lee Jones, The Bus Boys, Teena Marie, Toni Childs and Robben Ford. His commercial agency work included appearances in both Sprite and Levi’s 501 Blues ads.

In 1989, Vinx’s father, Leslie Jackson Parrette Sr. (Vinx’s greatest musical influence) was mugged and murdered during a family vacation in Detroit.

Vinx left the United States for Europe with his all drum band. Vinx and the Barkin’ Feet played to capacity audiences at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, performing after Miles Davis and before Wayne Shorter. Back in the states, Herbie Hancock invited Vinx to perform on his Showtime Coast to Coast TV Special, where Vinx played with Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Hornsby, Lou Reed, B.B. King, Herbie Hancock, Kenny G. and Woody Harrelson.

In 1990, Sting and Miles Copeland signed Vinx to Pangaea/I.R.S. Records. Following Vinx’s performance on Sting’s Soul Cages CD, Vinx recorded his first release (Rooms In My Fatha’s House) for Pangaea. The album featured guest performances from Sheryl Crow, Sting, Herbie Hancock, Taj Mahal, Branford Marsalis, Roscoe Lee Brown and Mother’s Finest. Vinx toured for 13 months with Sting’s "Soul Cages" tour as the solo opening act and the percussionist/background vocalist. The tour ended with a Carnegie Hall taping of MTV Unplugged with Sting. Vinx’s "While The City Sleeps" was used in the opening dance sequence of the prime time TV show In Living Color.
In 1992, Vinx moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and released his 2nd CD titled I Love My Job. The album featured Zap Mama, Patrice Rushen and Dan Kuramato. Vinx toured the world jazz festival circuit with great response and returned to the States for an appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show and The Tonight Show with old friend Branford Marsalis. Vinx’s song "There I Go Again" was chosen for the highest rated episode of the hit TV series Northern Exposure. The network received so many calls about the song that it was chosen for an album release of Northern Exposure’s most requested music. In 1993, Vinx released his 3rd CD, The Storyteller, which featured Stevie Wonder, George Howard, Cassandra Wilson and Omar. Vinx toured the world and recorded on Cassandra Wilson’s award winning CD Blue Light Til Dawn.

In 1994, Vinx moved to Boston and started the year with the Stewart Copeland and the Rhythmatists tour. The summer brought Vinx out for a three month tour with the Spin Doctors, Cracker and the Gin Blossoms, an appearance on the Bertice Berry Show, and performances and CO-MC work for all three days of Woodstock’ 94. In 1994, 1995 and 1996, Vinx was invited by Miles Copeland to his 12th Century French castle for a writer’s retreat. Vinx co-wrote at the castle with such notables as Brenda Russell, Cher, Michelle Shocked, Jil Sobule and Patty Smyth. 1995 brought Vinx to Africa for a five week tour of nine countries in West and Central Africa. Vinx and his drum trio were cultural attaches for the U.S. State Department. On his return, Vinx recorded on Stevie Wonder’s Conversation Pe