"The Poor People of Paris" was originally formed in the mid-eighties by French singer/multi-woodwind player Elsie Parker and keyboardist Donita Bauer. They performed for many years in the St. Louis, Missouri area. The group's out of town engagements have included San Francisco’s club “Piaf’s” and The Chicago Cultural Center concert series. "The Poor People of Paris" recorded two albums; “Elle se souvient” (She Remembers) 1997 and “Entre nous” (Between Us) 2000.
This album, "Entre nous", features captivating performances of such French iconic hits from Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Michel Legrand as well as original material.
Since 2001 the group has evolved into "Elsie Parker and The Poor People of Paris", a quartet of widely talented musicians which has recorded Elsie's third album, “Je t’aime encore” (I Love You Still) 2007, also available on CD baby.
Elsie Parker, the band's founder, first became enchanted with the voice and songs of Edith Piaf, and especially loves singing Piaf's early songs. Elsie also performs (in French) songs associated with Charles Aznavour, Hervé Vilard, Mireille Mathieu, Michael Legrand, Patricia Kaas, Axel Red, Jaques Brel, Leo Marjane, Eddy Mitchell, Vanessa Paradis, Gilbert Becaud, Serge Lama, Sylvie Bernard, and Charles Trenet, as well as performing her own original material.
Elsie Parker has traveled to Paris, France to perform on French television’s “La Chance aux Chansons”. Pascal Sevran, the host of the show, dubbed her: “Une chanteuse originale…une vedette.” (“An original singer…a star.”)
Elsie has also performed as vocal soloist and clarinet soloist with orchestras in Missouri, Illinois and Florida. Elsie owns an entire library of orchestrations for her songs in French and English.
Elsie is a tenured member of the St. Louis Municipal Opera Orchestra (The MUNY) as clarinet/saxophone/flute doubler and is a member of the St. Louis FOX Theater Orchestra and the Kevin Kline Awards Show Orchestra. She is also an extra clarinetist for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Elsie's classical group, "The Crusell Quartet" (calrinet and strings), has recently been signed to Centaur Records and their debut CD will be available soon.
Quotes and reviews about "Elsie Parker and The Poor People of Paris":
"Elsie ...sings as strongly as the great Edith Piaf of bygone days."
- Folkfire Reviews
"Parisians went wild over hometown singer Elsie Parker's recent appearance on the Paris television program "La Chance aux Chansons"
- Paul Hample, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Elsie's beautiful vocals are perfectly matched to a wide variety of French popular songs... with more than just a touch of jazz."
- Steve Pick ~ St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Cabaret singing that will make you think you're in a Paris cafe..."
- First Night, Grand Center
“Parker can be breathy and coy on one song and strident and forthright on the next; her changing tone enhances the drama. As a saxophonist and flautist, Parker plays sweet, sonorous lines that never step over her backing trio.”
– Christian Schaeffer The Riverfront Times
“Elsie Parker is gaining a great reputation and following for her work, often being compared to legendary French singer Edith Piaf. Her success lead her to appearing on French television to rave reviews and finishing two CDs entitled Entre Nous (Between Us) and Elle se souvient (She Remembers). There was no problem if you didn't speak French, her music was complimented as being accessible to non-speakers as well”.
– KDHX Reviewer