The Parnelli Awards Board of Advisors announces that Grammy nominated composer and bassist extraordinaire Tony Levin will be the host for this year’s 17th Annual Parnelli Awards held at the Hilton Anaheim on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 as part of NAMM Live.
While the Grammy-nominated Levin is most associated with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, he’s also played with John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Buddy Rich, Peter Frampton, Chuck Mangione, James Taylor and several supergroups including Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. He’s always been admired as an innovator, and was an early adopter of the Chapman Stick, which he played on the 1981 King Crimson album Discipline.
“Tony Levin is one of the world’s greatest bass players, but he’s also known for his wit and storytelling,” says Parnelli Awards Executive Producer Terry Lowe. “He has toured with some of our greatest artists and no doubt will have plenty to say at our show in what will surely be an exceptionally entertaining night.”
Levin was born in Boston in 1946, and started playing upright bass at 10. He attended the Eastman School of Music, where he played under the great classical composer, Igor Stravinsky. A fellow classmate was drummer Steve Gadd, who introduced Levin to rock and jazz. Levin moved to New York City and started a long career as a studio musician; he has played on more than 500 at this point. In 1975, he played on Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years, and would tour with Simon often in addition to playing the part of the bass player in Simon’s 1980 film One-Trick Pony. In 1977, he joined Peter Gabriel’s band, of which he is still a member. In 1981, he started playing with King Crimson, which he continues to do to this day. He’s active with his own music projects including his group Stick Men, and, with his brother Pete, the jazz band Levin Brothers. Just last year he was part of the Parnelli Award-winning Peter Gabriel/Sting tour. He’s also an author and a photographer.
“I’m very pleased to have been invited to host the Parnelli Awards,” says Levin. “These awards are presented to innovators and influencers in the live event industry, and those of us who perform onstage are always aware how much our shows are illuminated, both literally and figuratively, by the talents of sound, lighting, and technical people and companies. This is the chance to give them some recognition, and I'm honored to be part of it.”