Charlie Parker

On May 15, 1953, five of jazz’s most influential musicians – Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Max Roach, and Bud Powell – gathered at Toronto’s Massey Hall for what would result in their first and only known recording as a quintet. While only a small audience was able to experience it in person, this historic evening was captured on tape. The resulting album, The Quintet: Jazz at Massey Hall, would become one of the genre’s most essential and celebrated releases.

It's a shimmering morning in Jazzlandia, a world where notes float like balloons and musical bars build bridges between dimensions. The air is thick with anticipation. Why? Because it's Charlie "Bird" Parker's 103rd birthday and the town is gearing up for the sassiest saxophone soiree of the century.

Join the Ken Peplowski Quartet for a special concert honoring the iconic album, “Charlie Parker with Strings” at Birdland!

Cleveland native and tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Ken Peplowski, “…arguably the greatest living jazz clarinetist,” (BBC) presents “Bird With Strings” a birthday celebration of Bird’s best loved album – Charlie Parker with Strings, originally released in1950.

On Friday, June 17, 2022, Flushing Town Hall’s Queens Jazz Orchestra (QJO) returns live to the stage with "Bird Flight," a special tribute program honoring Phil Schaap and the genius of Charlie Parker. Antonio Hart, GRAMMY-nominated jazz artist and an original member of the QJO, will be making his debut as the orchestra’s new conductor, following the 2020 passing of its longtime leader, NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath.

Throughout his brief but influential life, Charlie “Bird” Parker made an enormous impact on popular music as one of the architects of modern jazz. The jazz titan, inarguably one of the greatest saxophonists of all time, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and spent much of his adult life in New York, but Los Angeles nonetheless looms large in his musical life as he spent more time in L.A. than anywhere outside of K.C. and N.Y.

On the day of Charlie “Bird” Parker’s 100th birthday, it is impossible to overstate the impact and influence that the legendary jazz icon has had on music and culture. Born on August 29th, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas, Parker is simply one of the most important Black American figures in history, a towering musical genius who blazed his own path as a pioneering musician and composer, altering the course of music forever.

Commencing at midnight August 27th and concluding at midnight September 4th, WKCR-FM (89.9 FM, will dedicate all programming to celebrations of the legacies and influences of two of jazz’s central figures: Charlie Parker (b. 8/29/20, d. 3/12/55) and Lester Young (b. 8/27/09, d. 3/15/59). For more than four decades, the station has noted their birthday anniversaries with a three-day marathon broadcast.

On the 100th anniversary of Charlie Parker’s birth – August 29, 2020 – it is impossible to imagine the evolution of jazz and modern music in general without the indelible influence of one of the most important Black American figures in history. Parker’s incomparable life and extraordinary, trailblazing career is being celebrated all year with a centennial celebration lovingly dubbed Bird 100, after the nickname of the preeminent alto saxophonist who was one of the fathers of bebop and progenitors of modern jazz.

The incomparable life and extraordinary, trailblazing career of jazz titan and influential composer Charlie Parker will be honored throughout 2020 with a worldwide celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of his birth (August 29, 1920).

City Parks Foundation is proud to announce the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. The festival is New York City's annual salute to the legendary late saxophonist, featuring storied veteran players as well as young jazz musicians who continue to shape and drive the art form.

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