Dianna Parks is a singer-songwriter for the Dianna Parks Band (formerly Parks and Kleist) with Kevin Kleist and Bob Sanborn. She has performed in the Heart tribute band, Crazy on You, and last April she was the vocalist for I Can’t Let Go: A Musical Tribute to Linda Ronstadt at the Rochester Civic Theatre.
1. Music background
Dianna began singing and playing piano at age 6. She took a handful of piano and guitar lessons but is mostly self-taught. Dianna has participated in a variety of songwriting workshops and has been in choirs and singing groups since middle school, despite being extremely shy about her vocal talent.
2. Call me, maybe
“I wanted to sing so badly that I placed an ad in the paper that said, ‘A singer looking for a band.’ I didn’t get much of a response to my ad, except for singers. I got more calls from other singers than from musicians looking for singers.”
3. Feels like home
“There was a town-wide talent show where I used to live. I auditioned for it, and they gave me a slot in the show. I was so terrified to play in public that I decided to stack the deck a bit. I invited 11 friends and my mother. I brought my own piano bench plus a bunch of dog toys that I scattered around the stage to recreate my space at home. Then I played in my bare feet.”
4. First on First
“My first paid gig was Thursdays on First eight years ago. It was just me and my guitar doing some softer, finger-picking music. I played Jewel, I played Norah Jones, and I had a butt in every seat. I remember there was this part of me that thought, ‘Wow, I am actually doing this right now.’”
5. Heart to heart
“Studies show that when people sing together there is a vibration that actually engages the heart. It becomes spiritual, a communion, something that doesn’t exist anywhere else – and I just want that feeling forever and ever. It isn’t that it sounds pretty, it’s that it feels good.”
6. Favorite place to play
“We used to sing at bedsides at the hospital. That is sacred. That is spiritual. That is one of my favorite spaces.”
7. I’ll be your song
“When I perform, it’s an opportunity to communicate with somebody. I don’t sing so that I can hear myself sing. I can do that at home.”
8. Giving you the best that I got
“There is something about music and reciprocity – I am enriched by giving it, and other people want to receive it. I have enough of the gift in me to share it with others.”
9. Musical style
“My music doesn’t have a word, but I like to call it ‘Music for Grownups.’ Think Cities 97 or Y105. Even the most rockin’ stuff we play is just not that harsh.”
10. Where to find Dianna
Dianna will be playing on May 27 at Thyme Restaurant in Rochester.