William Parker (b. Bronx, New York City, New York, January 10, 1952) is an American free jazz double bassist, poet and composer. He was not formally trained as a classical player, though he did study with Jimmy Garrison, Richard Davis, and Wilbur Ware and learned the tradition. Parker is one of few jazz bassists who regularly plays arco. He also plays several other instruments from around the world, including the West African kora. While Parker has been active since the early 1970s; he has had a higher public profile since the early 1990s.