Reading List / Steve Parker

Steve Parker is a slide trombonist, composer, curator, and community arts organizer. He is the curator of SoundSpace at the Blanton Museum of Art, Artistic Director of COLLIDE, an artist of NYC contemporary music ensemble Ensemble Signal, and teaches at UTSA. Previously, he has worked as a Fulbright and Harrington Scholar.

SoundSpace: Musical Outsiders will take place Sunday, June 14, 2015, at the Blanton.


Being a new father, my time to read (and sleep) has been limited. So, most of the books I’ve read lately have not been for pleasure, but rather closely tied to my work as a curator, artist, and educator. Here are a few of the ones I’ve found especially inspiring and interesting:

Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch

A collection of musings by the filmmaker on his creative process.

Education for Socially Engaged Art: Materials and Techniques Handbook by Pablo Helguera

A direct and helpful resource for anyone interested in the realm of social practice.

How Music Works by David Byrne

This is a really fun and insightful book by artist/musician/writer David Byrne. He talks a bunch about how profoundly music is shaped by time, place, and context.

Creative Time: The Book: 33 Years of Public Art in New York

A great overview of the work produced by one of the most important public art organizations in the country.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

I’m a total self-improvement junkie, especially when it comes to the realm of creativity. This is a really addictive read with short (1–3 page) summaries of artists and their processes.

A Power Stronger Than Itself by George Lewis

This is the definitive book on the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) written by MacArthur Fellow (and fellow trombonist) George Lewis. An impeccably researched and written account of one of the most important performing art collectives in the United States.

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