Once dubbed "Annapolis' best kept secret", Parris Lane has an extraordinary voice that lends itself to many different styles of music. An accomplished singer and recording artist, Parris has performed for audiences around the world from Carnegie Hall to London, Paris, Geneva and Rome. Her four-octave voice lends itself to diverse styles including Gospel, Jazz, R&B, Pop, Classical and Show tunes. Which proves that Ms. Lane is one of the most versatile singer/performer in existence today. She has performed and recorded with many of Maryland's most popular bands; MARZ, Friction, Crosswinds, Bobby and the Believers, Radio City and High Society. On “MARZ’s,” debut album with “Capitol Records” she received raved reviews on the song entitled “Got Me Crying Again”. Parris was the lead female vocalist with the Group "Soulmates" which performed at the Venetian Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, NV
In addition to singing talents, Ms. Lane is also an Emmy nominated actress having performed in productions such as Godspell with The Colonial Players and had leading roles in Jesus Christ Superstar as "Mary Magdalene", PURLIE as "Lullabelle Jenkins", and in SELMA as Coretta Scott King" with New Wave/Pumoja Theater companies. Her performances were described as brilliant. The shows were under the direction of Howard University’s Professor of Drama, the late Ted Cooper. Acting credits also includes an extra for Baltimore’s own hit TV Show “Homicide,” Bell Atlantic, MD You Are Beautiful and more. Parris created the character voices of - "Annie Action and Wanda Why, for Baltimore Port Discovery Children Museum theme song. She currently co-stars on the Maryland Public Television Emmy Award Winning show "Bob the Vid Tech" portraying the role of "Brianna."
Parris' talent has brought her many honors. She has been a guest soloist at the Governor's Mansion, former Gov. Schaefer's tribute to Sugar Ray Leonard. She has also performed with local jazz greats Ruby Glover, the late Arti Dicks of the Ink Spots, Bob Butta, Moe Daniels, Steff Scaggiari and Mickey Basil. She's also received numerous awards including The Governor's Proclamation for her involvement in helping the YWCA Domestic Violence Program by producing, directing, writing and performing in her one woman show. A musical based on her life’s experience.
Jay Schlossberg-Cohen, Director of the MD Film Commission and founder of MD Women in Film, chose Parris to perform the Baltimore Debut of the song "Daughter of God", written by Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriters Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, at HERO's annual AIDS benefit. She presented the song at the Hebrew National Congregation in Baltimore. Parris continues to be the guest solo artist for many special events. She appeared with Montel Williams at the US Naval Academy Forestall Lecture and received a standing ovation from the entire Brigade of Midshipman. She was also guest soloist for MD Governor's Parris Glendening's Inauguration and The Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in D.C. with Sen. Hillary Rodman Clinton as guest speaker where Parris received a standing ovation of 5,000 attendees that lasted for several minutes for her rendition of "America The Beautiful". Even more moving was her tribute with the song "Cum Ba Ya" to Alex Haley's "Roots" dedication of his statue and the "Kunta Kinte" plaques with guest speaker actor John Amos. Parris was the first vocalist chosen for the "Arts Excel" Program with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra where she created the program "Communication through Songs" an intense workshop targeted at inner city children teaching about Negro Spiritual and today's Urban Music. She's also on the roster for performers at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Parris has had the privilege to work with two great songwriters/producers. Grammy award winning songwriter the late Skip Scarborough who Parris co-wrote the song entitled "Love is By Your Side" on her "Songs from the Heart" CD with , and hit maker Donald Robinson. Between these two great songwriter/producers they've worked with some of the best, Areatha, Gladys, Patti Labelle, Nancy, Anita, and Earth Wind and Fire. Donald is known mostly for being the late Grover Washington music director and producing Vanessa Williams hit "Dreaming". Skip won his Grammy for Anita Baker's "Giving You the Best" and has written many all time favorites such as Earth Wind and Fire- Can't Hide love, Masquerade, Love's Holiday, and Lovely Day with Bill Wither to name a few. You can also find Parris singing background vocals on Nils Lofgren's "Damaged Goods" CD on the song entitled "Black Book". Nils is well known for being a part of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. She's also singing on gospel artist Alton McClain Scarborough's "God's Women" CD on the selection entitled "Gifts of the Spirit". Parris has served as the Program Director for MD Women in Film and Video and the President of Raven Productions, Ltd., Board member of Annapolis City Housing Authority, Vice President of Blue Moon Talent, Judge for Baltimore's Billie Holiday Contest, and a Judge for Ms. USA - Ms. West Virginia Contest. She's also a member of the Las Vegas Women in Film and Video, Washington DC Grammy-NARAS, Washington Area Music Association, Society of Singers and an AIA Actor's Studio Premier member.
Parris Lane’s One Woman Show
In the past few years, Parris Lane has generously donated her time and talent helping the YWCA Domestic Violence Program. With her talent she has raised thousands of dollars for the organization located in Anne Arundel Co., MD. She’s been an advocate for Domestic Violence, appearing on talk shows and has even testified before the MD General Assembly for tougher legislation. Her performance in the “One Woman Show”, which she created, directed, produced, and narrated has earned the title “Simply Brilliant.”
This narrated musical is based upon Parris’ life experience as a survivor of Domestic Violence, and how a deep love for God and music played such an important role in her life. With a determination to triumph against all odds, Parris portrays four different roles. She starts at the beginning..... with Negro Spirituals in the Gospel section, next opening the Blues segment with a 1940’s nightclub scene. Then glazing gracefully into the Jazz portion, and with a bang...the opening of the Pop section begins. Each segment includes dancers.. West African, Jitterbug, Tap and Hip Hop . She tops the 2-1/2 hr. show off an audience participation of Areatha Franklin’s “RESPECT”. The production consist of performers whose ages range from 10 to 70, and also features a different band for each segment.
With a charismatic performance that draws the audience to her. She keeps them in suspense, young and old, at the edge of their seats, begging for more. They anxiously await to see which wig or gown she’s wearing, or to hear Parris’ interpretation of a song. It could be Lena Horne’s “Stormy Weather” or C&C Music Factory’s “Make Me Sweat”. It’s whatever or whomever she makes you believe her to be. The music alone....shows a history of music, while the narration tells her story. Although the subject “Domestic Violence” is negative, Parris’s message is kept positive throughout the entire show.
The diversity of her music and her love for all people, brings out a diversified audience. As she proudly pays tribute to her heritage in the show, the African, Indian, and Irish, you can feel her love. Parris’ closing narration tells why she decided to created the show. She stresses the importance to give back and not to judge those being abused. To lend an ear and help them by being a friend. You leave feeling enhearten and loved.
The entire production has also been produced with a completely separate narration for substance abuse and for also teaching the history of Black Music in America. There aren’t many singers in the world that can do what she does. Those who are fortunate enough to see this rare and gifted performer will tell you why she’s been labeled as “The Incomparable Parris Lane”.