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Spotlight: Charlie Parker - Charles Perkins and Gerald Spaits Polsky Theater Midwest Trust Center

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

The Johnson County Community College is celebrating the 101st birthday of Kansas City native Charlie Parker on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. The concert is a part of this year’s Charlie Parker Celebration, SPOTLIGHT: Charlie Parker. The concert is open to the public and will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the sonically excellent Polsky Theater of the newly named, Midwest Trust Center. We hope that you’ll join us for this special event. After 2020, and not being able to celebrate the 100th birthday of the alto saxophonist who carried on, and changed the direction of jazz, Charlie “Bird” Parker, we are ready for live jazz at JCCC.

Our program features alto saxophonist Charles Perkins. Charles is an important link to Parker and a devotee of the music of Charlie Parker. Charles taught at the Charlie Parker Academy alongside Ahmad Alaadeen and trumpeter Eddie Baker. He then moved to New York City and performed regularly at the World Famous Blue Note in Greenwich Village.

He is joined again this year by bassist Gerald Spaits, a native of Kansas City, and one of the foremost bass players in the Kansas City area. Spaits has enjoyed an active career including playing with jazz legends Jay McShann and Claude “Fiddler” Williams. Gerald is a recording artist in his own right and a first call bassist who performs regularly with vocalist Marilyn Maye.

Gerald and Charles promise an excellent show. They will be joined this year by Roger Wilder at the piano and John Kizilarmut on the drums. The quartet will feature several Charlie Parker compositions and other tunes closely associated with the saxophonist’s performances across the country. The program is free, and we welcome you back to our music spaces.

For more information visit:

Doreen Maronde

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