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August 13, 2013 - by CG News Desk
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The 21st edition of the beloved late summer jazz favorite, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, will run August 21st-25th, 2013. In the world of modern music, few figures loom as large or cast as long a shadow as saxophonist Charlie Parker, best known as “Bird” (short for “Yardbird”) to generations of musicians. He was born in 1920, and almost sixty years since his death in 1955, he is universally celebrated for single-handedly inventing bebop and bringing jazz into the modern era.
The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is an annual salute to the legendary saxophonist. City Parks Foundation is proud to produce this historic festival, and for the second year will have an expanded schedule featuring contemporaries of Charlie Parker as well as up and coming jazz musicians that continue to shape and drive the art form.
This year’s festivities will begin at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music’s Jazz Performance Space with screenings of two films important to jazz culture – “Beacons of Jazz” and “Girls in the Band.”
An interactive family Jazz concert will kick off the festival’s highlight: 3 days of brilliant jazz performances in the park, including the world premiere of a newly re-commissioned “Bird is the Word.” The original piece was commissioned by the festival in 2004, and now nearly 10 years later returns reworked for and performed by Jimmy Heath and his Big Band.
This year the festival falls just days before Parker’s birthday, with performances uptown on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon in historic Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park (in the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater), blocks from the clubs in which bebop was born; and downtown on Sunday afternoon in Tompkins Square Park, across the street from the apartment that Parker called home.
Join us to learn something new about Bird, listen to artists you love, discover some new favorites, and reconnect with old friends- but most of all to ENJOY the enduring legacy of Charlie Parker and jazz in New York City.
The complete Charlie Parker Jazz Festival schedule follows. For the most up-to-date scheduling and line-up for all SummerStage programming, visit www.SummerStage.org.
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