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Bird Lives

SPOTLIGHT: Charlie Parker and more.

August is here, and for many in Kansas City, that means it’s time to celebrate the Bird, saxophonist Charlie Parker. Arguably, Kansas City’s favorite son, and a worldwide celebrity of a figure who lived a tumultuous and very short life, mainly in New York City.

This year The JAZZ Alive celebration, Spotlight: Charlie Parker will be a week long affair, running from August 19th to August 26th, the celebration promises an unforgettable experience filled with mesmerizing musical performances, tributes, education sessions, and social events.

Up to date information.

As always, there will be special surprise musical guests making their way back home to KC. It seems to happen every year. Musicians and fans from around the globe drop in, in August to go by Bird’s grave, or cruse around town sitting in with anybody and everybody. And why not? We’re talking about Charlie Parker, after all, a man known to walk off of the concert stage, take his horn to the nearest jam session and put on a thrilling spectacle for the patrons at hand.

Highlighting this year’s SPOTLIGHT: Charlie Parker event, is Grammy™ nominated alto saxophonist, Tia Fuller, who will serve as the 2023 Spotlight: Charlie Parker Artist-in-Residence. Tia is scheduled to perform at the Folly Theater on August 26th and tickets are available at:

Other notable events include: Chuck Haddix’ Walking History Tour - August 26th at 10am in the 18th & Vine District, this is a ticketed event, and you can sign up at the Spotlight: Charlie Parker website.

A Women in Jazz Panel Discussion focusing on Bird - August 22nd at the Downtown Kansas City Library with Wichita educator, Lisa Hittle as this year’s moderator and celebrated vocalist Deborah Brown on the panel.

Jazz workshops and master classes led by esteemed musicians and educators will provide insights into the nuances of the genre. And Bird Boot Camp & Bird Salute will take place on August 19th, serving as an opening event by the students, at 3:30pm at the Charlie Parker monument in the jazz district.

I’ve noticed 2 additional events already added to this year’s festivities, both at the American Jazz Museum. Read about ‘Jazz and Suffragists’, here in JAM.

It’s a free event, live in the Blue Room of the American Jazz Museum, Sunday, August 27TH from 3PM-5PM. Featuring Pamila Baskin Watson, Millie Edwards, Lisa Henry, and the Kansas City Girls’ Choir under the direction of Mia Ramsey.

And Jazz in the Yard, on August 26th, beginning at 5pm on the Jay McShann stage on the North lawn of the AJM, this year featuring alto saxophonist, Logan Richardson.

Check out for fast-breaking up to date information.

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