• JAM

Spotlight 2020: Charlie Parker Centennial Coming in August

by Macy Layne


KC Jazz Alive

Founded in 2014 by an active group of Kansas City jazz supporters, KC Jazz ALIVE exists to keep jazz ALIVE in KC! The organization’s vision is to make Kansas City the premier destination for jazz and live music. The goal is to create a jazz scene in Kansas City where musicians find it a haven for performance, visitors and residents can expect quality live performances, and where venues can experience economic success.

A-L-I-V-E, is an acronym for Awareness, Listening, Ideas, Voice and Exposure. Each area of focus works to advocate for jazz in Kansas City and support the future of this beautiful art form for generations to come.



One of the organization’s strongest efforts to serve as a jazz advocate is the annual “Spotlight: Charlie Parker” event, held in late August each year. Now in it’s 7th year, the momentum continues as preparations progress for Charlie Parker’s 100th birthday in August 2020!

Kansas City will celebrate Charlie “Bird” Parker’s Centennial with “Spotlight 2020: Charlie Parker Centennial,” a citywide celebration of Bird’s life and music from August 19 – 29th, 2020. Full details can be found online at https://spotlightcharlieparker.org/

KC Jazz ALIVE, University of Missouri-Kansas City, the American Jazz Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Bruce R Watkins Cultural Center and numerous other cultural, neighborhood and civic organizations will host jam sessions, tours, lectures, exhibits, panel discussions, poetry slams, workshops and concerts celebrating Charlie Parker.

The calendar of events will continue to grow as August nears. If you are planning an event to celebrate Charlie Parker’s 100th birthday celebration please let us know. Our Planning Committee is meeting twice monthly to review and approve additional events. Requests for inclusion may be directed to Macy Layne, MacyL@KCJazzALIVE.org. All approved events on the calendar will be covered by a city-wide license acquired by KC Jazz ALIVE and will be incorporated into the promotion and advertising efforts coordinated by KC Jazz ALIVE.

Additionally, corporate and individual sponsorship opportunities are available. All eyes are on Kansas City as we celebrate Charlie Parker in August, creating international exposure for sponsors and all those involved. Explore opportunities to sponsor the largest 100th birthday celebration of our native legend by contacting Jon McGraw, JonM@KCJazzALIVE.org. or calling 816-285-9045.

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