MACHIAS, Maine — A foundation that benefits Maine musicians will participate in a tribute to the young Washington County man who is memorialized by the organization.
The tribute to Ian Parker, sponsored by the Ian Parker Foundation and Skywalker’s Bar and Grille, will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the bar and grill owned and operated by Parker’s father, John, and his wife, Danielle.
The event is expected to draw musicians from Hallowell, where Parker was a fixture in the local music scene until his tragic death at age 27 in 2011, and others from Machias and greater Washington County who influenced him as he was growing into adulthood and becoming more involved in music.
“You couldn’t go anywhere [in Hallowell] without being somewhere where Ian had an influence,” recalled Teresa Zardus, who now lives in Gardiner.
Zardus, whose group, the Plaid Dragonflies, will appear at Skywalker’s that evening starting at 9, served on the foundation’s board of directors for several years until just recently. She became friends with Parker when they both lived in Hallowell, and he played guitar on her group’s self-titled CD.
The foundation was established in the wake of Parker’s death to aid musicians. It raises money and has helped musicians pay medical bills and other expenses. The foundation also has helped purchase musical instruments for schools and made other donations related to the music scene, according to Zardus.
Parker already was an accomplished musician by the time he went to central Maine to attend the University of Maine-Augusta, where he briefly majored in music and then remained in the Hallowell area to pursue music. He had played professionally with his father, a drummer, all over the state before leaving Machias to go to college, said his father.
Parker sang vocals in addition to playing guitar and performed with two popular bands, Rumble Strip and The Returnables. He was a recording session musician and performed on recordings for numerous Maine artists.
About 12-15 acts are expected to perform Saturday. Donations will be accepted for the foundation.