Walter Parazaider

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Walter Parazaider
Walter Parazaider.jpg
Parazaider in 2008
Background information
Birth name Walter Parazaider
Born (1945-03-14) March 14, 1945 (age 69)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Rock, Blues, R'n'B, Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone, flute, clarinet, piccolo, oboe, guitar, synthesizer, vocals
Years active 1966-present
Associated acts Chicago
Notable instruments
Tenor, Alto, Soprano & Baritone Saxophones

Walter Parazaider (born March 14, 1945) is best known for being a founding member and saxophone player for the rock band Chicago. He also plays the flute and other woodwind instruments in the band, including clarinet.

Parazaider was born in Chicago, Illinois, and began playing the clarinet at the age of 9. As a teenager, his growing talent was being groomed for a career as a professional orchestral musician, and he gained a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical clarinet performance from DePaul University.[1][2]

Inspired by the Beatles hit "Got To Get You Into My Life", Parazaider became enamored with the idea of creating a rock 'n' roll band with horns. Early practice sessions at Parazaider's house included guitarist Terry Kath and drummer Danny Seraphine, who were both friends during his teenage years. Another friend who became involved was future Chicago producer James William Guercio.

The band, originally called The Big Thing, eventually became Chicago with the addition of Lee Loughnane on trumpet, James Pankow on trombone, Robert Lamm on keyboards and Peter Cetera on bass. Parazaider's primary musical role in the band has consisted of playing woodwinds on James Pankow's horn arrangements. Never a prolific writer, Parazaider's compositional contributions ("It Better End Soon: 2nd Movement", "Free Country", "Aire", "Devil's Sweet", "Window Dreamin'") have been few relative to the other members.

Parazaider performs the highly recognizable flute solo in the Chicago hit "Colour My World", which became a popular 'slow-dance' song at high school proms during the 1970s.

In 2008, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by DePaul University.[1]

He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and was given the National Citation, being recognized as Signature Sinfonian along with fellow Chicago members and Sinfonians on August 26, 2009.[3]

A member of Chicago since its inception, Parazaider continues to tour extensively with the band (and is occasionally filled in for by Ray Herrmann). Walt has been married to his wife JacLynn for almost five decades and has two children, Laura and Felicia.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Walter Parazaider Saxophonist and Founding Member of the Band Chicago Bachelor of Arts, Classical Clarinet Performance". Distinctions - Quick Hits: Honorary Degree Recipients. DePaul University. 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  2. ^ Jepsen, Dave. "Walter Parazaider - Woodwinds". Meet Chicago - band Member Biographies. Chicago True Advocates. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  3. ^