Spotlight: Charlie Parker” is an annual Kansas City-wide celebration of the life and music of Kansas City’s native son, Charlie “Bird” Parker in August. It’s literally a weeklong birthday party centered around Mr. Parker’s birthday on August 29th!

Who We Serve

Kansas City Jazz ALIVE, and its Spotlight Charlie Parker initiative, serves five subgroups within the Kansas City jazz sector base, including artists, students, educators, venue owners, and enthusiasts. The primary purpose of the initiative is to:

  • Celebrate the genius of Charlie “Yardbird” Parker through educational and performance related events,
  • Increase awareness of Kansas City and its vibrant jazz scene,
  • Support venue owners by driving audience traffic to performances through marketing and promotions,
  • Drive economic impact to artists and venues,
  • Build collaborative partnerships,
  • Support the jazz educations of young musicians through applicable programming.

In 2022, Spotlight Charlie Parker presented and highlighted a total of 24 events throughout Kansas City. A list of specific events and participant statistics are provided in this summary document. Of the 24 events held in 2022, statistics were collected at 16 events. The aggregate of these events includes the following statistical and demographic results…. Click here for the full report.

KC Jazz ALIVE, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the American Jazz Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Mutual Musicians Foundation, the Bruce Watkins Cultural Center, the Burnett Music Foundation, and numerous other cultural and civic organizations have hosted jam sessions, tours, lectures, exhibits, panel discussions, poetry slams, workshops, and concerts celebrating Bird’s legacy while also spotlighting the contemporary musicians and venues in the Kansas City metropolitan area that perpetuate the style today.

KC Jazz ALIVE promotes “Spotlight: Charlie Parker” each August. Our approach to supporting and elevating Jazz in the greater KC community is designed to align with the five pillars of our mission — Awareness, Listening, Ideas, Voice, and Exposure while being a nonaffiliated catalyst organization — and subsequently supporting artists, enthusiasts, and venue owners by raising the tides that lift all Jazz boats and increasing tangible engagement with the American Jazz aesthetic.

As a catalyst organization, KC Jazz ALIVE builds Awareness of Kansas City’s vibrant Jazz scene. We believe that most people are Jazz fans; and, some of them just don’t know it yet!

KC Jazz ALIVE is also proud and motivated to provide expanded promotion with an international reach for our annual Charlie Parker birthday celebration.

Also, visit the official Charlie Parker website at

To learn more about KC Jazz ALIVE, visit + Get INVOLVED!

Happy Birthday, Charlie!


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