Parker at Three Deuces, New York, 1947
In his short life, legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker changed the world of music, creating with a small group of innovators the musical style called bop or bebop. Like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, he was a pioneering composer and improviser who ushered in a new era of jazz and influenced later generations of musicians and artists.
Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920, this past year marked the centennial of the man who created and performed such greats as “Conformation,” “My Little Suede Shoes,” “Cool Blues”, “Scrapple From The Apple,” “Blues for Alice,” and Yardbird Suite, to name a few.
Join the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra’s artistic director and conductor Charlie Young, Dwandalyn R. Reece, curator of music and performing arts at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gerald Dunn and Bobby Watson from the American Jazz Museum as they take us back in time to hear the Grammy Award-winning Parker’s sound and to understand how his brilliance and charisma had an impact on the course of music like no other.
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