Celebrating Bird! A Tribute to Charlie "Bird" Parker


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CELEBRATING BIRD! A Tribute to Charlie “Bird" Parker
Family to Attend Lament and Celebration
1pm, Sunday, August 24th, at the Grave Site
Afterwards at the Historic Mutual Musician's Foundation

Kansas City, Missouri: August 29th is Charlie “Bird" Parker's birthday but Kansas City is celebrating it on Sunday, August 24th so more people can come.

This year's annual Tribute to Charlie Bird Parker will begin at 1pm at the Lincoln Cemetery grave site nearby at Blue Summit, Missouri; (see links below). There, Parker family members, officials, musicians and the public will join together in remembrance and the traditional musical tribute. Afterwards (as Yardbird would have it) the lament will turn into a celebration, at the historic Mutual Musician's Foundation, 1823 Highland in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District to party and play “until all of the fried chicken is gone."

A highlight of the remembrance will be Alaadeen, jazz musician, composer, educator and the Tribute's music organizer, playing a sax played by Parker, himself. Alaadeen, has played baritone and tenor sax for Jay McShann, stints with Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and The Count Basie Orchestra - and is the recipient of the Jazz Heritage Award, the Community Heritage Award of the Missouri Humanities Council and Kansas City's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Attending this year's lament and celebration are representatives from the Parker family, Parker scholar and past Chair of the Charles Parker Foundation Sonny Gibson, author and jazz poet Dan Jaffe, jazz virtuosi including Art Blakey and the Jazz Messenger's and Jazz at Lincoln Center's Bobby Watson, as well as the traditional rag-tag Dirty Force Band's special salute, always a highlight of the event!

Charlie Parker began playing saxophone at age 11; he entered Lincoln High School in 1933, and later spent years at the Musicians Union Local #627 jamming and working with such giants as Jay McShann, Count Basie, Big Joe Turner and Mary Lou Williams. Charlie Parker's name has become synonymous with the art form itself and “Bird" has come to mean “Jazz." Local #627 is known today as The Mutual Musicians Foundation and is a designated National Historic Landmark.

Some Additional Links:
Mutual Musician's Foundation

Mutual Musician's Foundation Events Page


(Driving Directions to Lincoln Cemetery)
*Lincoln Cemetery is north of the intersection of Hwy #40 and Blue Ridge Cutoff (on Blue Ridge Rd). Travel north on Blue Ridge Cutoff from that intersection, staying left at any forks in the road (which will put you on Blue Ridge Road). When passing a cemetery on the right (east side of the road), begin looking for one, within a mile or so, on the left (west) side of the road. It will clearly state Lincoln Cemetery and mention that it is Charlie Parker's final resting place.

Bill Doty (913) 439-1750

This story appears courtesy of ASR Records - Publicity Division.
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