Episode 140: Lee Pardini

Air date: 7.29.2015

Lee Pardini Photo by James Elledge

A lot of kids dream of a career in music, and when they do they often imagine themselves in the spotlight at center stage with thousands of eyes fixed on their every move, but there are many people making a living in music whose names are not on the marquee. In fact, for every Madonna, there are dozens of musicians who have played in her band over the years. If you want to work, learn and do everything you can - the diversification of skill sets is an essential way to get more gigs - especially given the luck factor involved in eking out a practical living in the arts. Lee Pardini is a top notch multi-instrumentalist who has taken this ethos to heart. He studied jazz piano in college at New York’s Manhattan School of Music, but he also picked up the bass guitar along the way so he could play with a wider range of artists. And play, he has - Pardini has backed up artists like Shelby Lynne, Jonathan Wilson and Nick Waterhouse - along with just about everyone else in the pro circuit in the Los Angeles music community. What is it that Pardini brings to a band? Virtuosic chops, for starters, but perhaps even more importantly he brings an egalitarian perspective on music styles and an eager disposition. After all, nobody wants to ride around in a bus all summer with a jerk. Along with making everyone else sound good, Pardini is also an accomplished songwriter whose piano compositions are nimble and inventive. So the next time you’re at a show, pay attention to those players in the dim lights; they may be the next headliner ticket you buy.

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"Tell Me (with Mia Dyson)"
"That Sugar (with Mia Dyson)"
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