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Versatile Parlor Social put their own sheen on music favorites
Duo at Charlotte Jazz Festival April 13
Published Friday, April 6, 2018 11:03 am
by Ashley Mahoney

Dessy Di Lauro and Ric'key Pageot of Parlor Social perform at the Charlotte Jazz Festival on April 13 at Romare Bearden Park.

Don’t call Parlor Social a tribute band.

Husband and wife duo Dessy Di Lauro and Ric’key Pageot formed the group to create a unique space in the musical world – one that falls outside of a single genre such as ragtime, hip hop or R&B. Their sound arrives in the Queen City for the Charlotte Jazz Festival on April 13 with a performance at the Jazz Garden Tent at Romare Bearden Park. Tickets start at $15.

“It’s definitely a gift and curse, because we definitely wanted to create a style of our own, and not carbon copy anybody else,” Pageot said. “At the same time, because it’s unique, some people don’t know how to categorize it. You know how the music industry is. People like to put things in a box. People like to brand things to something they’re familiar with, but because it’s not something that they’ve heard before, it is more of a challenge to get the sound out, and to get people to understand what the influences are.”

A key component of their sound draws inspiration from the Harlem Renaissance.  

“That’s when jazz was at its peak, because records were just coming out,” Pageot said. “People were exchanging this new style of music, trading records. Records were being shipped to Europe during the wars out there, and sent to the soldiers. Even Europeans were discovering this new American art form. That’s almost 100 years ago, but we don’t care. That’s the type of music we love.”

Rather than recreate that original sound, Parlor Social combined it with other influences.

“We didn’t want to copy or sound like a throwback band of the 1930s,” Pageot said. “We wanted to move the sound forward. We wanted to blend it with styles of music that we grew up with. We are children of hip hop. We wanted to definitely do something innovate, and take the music forward.”

Parlor Social’s sound morphs with their growth as artists, which varies in terms of the pull toward jazz or other genres.

“It depends per song,” Di Lauro said. “Usually, it just kind of happens naturally when we write. As we write more and more, and we create for upcoming albums, the sound also morphs. We have some songs that are a little more jazz, some songs are a little more big band, some songs are a little more soulful. It depends where the story takes us. It all depends on what the sound is going to be, and even lyrics change that as well.”

Said Pageot: “Some songs I’ll hear an accordion, or this song needs a rap verse, or this song we’ll hear a tuba, or this song we’ll hear a clarinet. It all depends on what that song is developing into, and what we want to hear.”

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