A Barista By Day, Then a Singer By Night

By Journalist Ms. Jones

NEWBURGH – If you ever go to the Starbucks in Target in Newburgh, you may receive a sweet melody with your caramel Frappuccino. That’s where Jasmine Parker works during the day. However, by night she sings a different tune.

Parker just completed her first gospel single titled “Better Days.”

Parker gets her love of music from her father, Jeffrey Parker, who was a drummer. She started singing in choirs at age 10. She trained her voice by taking music classes. In eleventh grade, she won a talent show at Newburgh Free Academy by singing Alicia Keys “If I Ain’t Got You.”

“I didn’t think I would get the response that I got,” said Parker. The high note at the end is not an easy note to hit. “Everybody was waiting on the edge of their seats like, ‘Is she gonna do it?’”

After graduation, Parker began singing with her friends in a group called “Peculiar Praise.” She began traveling and performing with the group. Then “Divine Inspiration” aka “The Burks Girls” came from Schenectady and joined the group. Eventually, “Peculiar Praise” dismantled and Parker began singing with “Divine Inspiration.”

“All of them are blood related sisters. I was an add-along and became a sister… Those are my girls,” said Parker. “Divine Inspiration” would travel and sing at events. However, they are no longer a group because two members moved away to pursue other job interests and one got married.

Parker then began singing as a background singer for Ralph Williams. It was Williams who asked her if she wanted to start her own thing.

“It was something that I wanted to do before, but I kind of like pushed it back because I was very devoted to group things… It’s kind of a scary feeling for me to be on my own,” said Parker.

Williams wrote a song for her. You guessed it… “Better Days.”

“He said that he felt like God gave that song to him for me… the words specifically caught me… I was dealing with the loss of my father. My father passed away four years ago due to cancer. My father was my best friend,” said Parker.

“Better Days” is available on digital platforms. It will be one of the songs on Parker’s full-length CD that she is currently working on.

Parker performed her single on the “Jesus Cares” Tour with Ralph Williams and Tanisha Castellanos. You can see Parker perform “Better Days” in person at “Intimate with Jasmine Parker” at 2 Alice’s Coffee Lounge on Broadway in Newburgh on Friday, September 22 at 8 pm. Her special guests will be: The Voice Season 2 Winner Jermaine Paul, Sunday Best’s Jeffery Burnside, recording artist TJ Clarke from Connecticut, and the always anointed Ralph Williams.

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