“There really isn’t a style category that I feel like I fit into,” says Charleston-based vocalist Quiana Parler. “I guess you can say my style and my band style is like gumbo. I’ve always listened to everything — jazz, pop, R&B, gospel, and Latin music — and I’ve kind of found a way to mix all these styles together and come up with the sound that I have today.”
West Ashley’s Voodoo Tiki Bar and Lounge concludes its summer jazz series with Parler and her band this Tuesday. An independent entertainer with an easy-going demeanor and great command of each tune, Parler is perhaps best known in town for her American Idol audition, as well as her recent work with Clay Aiken as a backup singer.
Seven years ago, Parler, a native of Harleyville, made her first big splash in town performing in Calvin Gilmore’s Serenade show on John Street in the late ’90s. She went on to work as the lead vocalist in Latin-jazz group Brazil. In the last four years, Parler gradually established herself as an independent entertainer with an easy-going demeanor and great command of each tune. Parler’s dazzling performances have been the bright highlights of many local cabaret shows and special events.
Currently she performs weekly gigs with a backing band comprised of Stephen Washington on piano, J.T. Rollerson on drums, and Vonny Green on electric bass, with frequent guest players, too.
“We are a high-energy party band that ranges in size from four to 11 pieces,” Parler says. “When we do perform publicly, we use my core group. This is our second time at Voodoo, and we plan to get people up and dancing. I’ve never made a setlist for any of my events because I like to feel the crowd out once I’m onstage. Every event is different, and every crowd is different. I think that’s what makes this band so unique. We do everything from Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner, Toto to Journey. This is what you can expect at Voodoo. Bring your dancing shoes!”