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Spotlight 2019: Charlie Parker features a series of spotlight events in Kansas City throughout August. We are excited to continue showcasing Kansas City jazz while highlighting our hometown legend, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker. Mark your calendars for the dates below!

Saxophone Supreme: The Life & Music of Charlie Parker Exhibition @ American Jazz Museum (& Virtual)
Aug 1 @ 12:00 pm – Aug 31 @ 1:00 pm
Saxophone Supreme: The Life & Music of Charlie Parker Exhibition @ American Jazz Museum (& Virtual)

View full Virtual exhibit here –>

A partnership between the American Jazz Museum and UMKC Libraries, the exhibit Saxophone Supreme celebrates the Centennial of Charlie “Bird” Parker, one of the most influential musicians and composers of all time. Born and raised in the Kansas City area, alto saxophonist, Parker pioneered Bebop a revolution in jazz. Throughout his career, Parker continued to innovate and explore new musical vistas. He influenced ensuing generations of musicians across a broad range of styles. His genius also inspired writers, artists, dancers and filmmakers.

This centennial exhibition features groundbreaking research, album covers, sheet music, photos, memorabilia and rare audio clips drawn from the collections of the American Jazz Museum, LaBudde Special Collections/Marr Sound Archives at UMKC, the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University–Newark, Norman Saks and Brian Johnston. Chuck Haddix, the Curator of the Sound Archives and Geri Sanders, Director of Collections for the American Jazz Museum, co-curated the exhibit. Haddix is the author of Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker.

Check out this write-up on the exhibit from Jazz Tokyo!

‘In The Yard’ by American Jazz Museum – CANCELED
Aug 29 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Due to COVID rise, American Jazz Museum has made the difficult decision to cancel Sunday’s (8/29) in-person events. They will be pivoting to a virtual event/video to be released next month. Updates to be announced at

Livestreamed Broadcast from Charlie Parker Statue @ American Jazz Museum Facebook
Aug 29 @ 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm

Tune into the American Jazz Museum’s Facebook at 5pm on Sunday 8/29 for a livestreamed  horn salute and tribute to Charlie Parker, led by Bobby Watson!

A message from AJM…

“Due to the rising concern surrounding the COVID-19 Delta Variant, the American Jazz Museum has determined it is in the best interest of our staff, community, and guests to cancel this Sunday’s In the Yard parade and celebration.

We know how excited so many were to experience ‘Bird at 100,’ a Charlie Parker centennial tribute featuring saxophonists Vincent Herring, Bobby Watson, and Gary Bartz. So, we look forward to broadcasting In the Yard virtually featuring ‘Bird at 100’ next month (air date TBA).

To honor Bird’s legacy, we will pivot to all virtual programming, with a livestreamed broadcast from the Charlie Parker bust on his birthday, this Sunday August 29th at 5:00PM. Please join us virtually on Facebook to watch a very special horn salute and tribute led by Bobby Watson.

This was a difficult decision to make, as we were looking forward to welcoming visitors to our yard to honor the end of Charlie Parker’s centennial year and 101st birthday. His legacy deserves a community-wide celebration, but we have to prioritize the health and safety of all who visit our museum.

We are so close to reaching our fundraising goal for In the Yard, and you can still honor Charlie Parker’s centennial year with a contribution to the campaign by texting ‘BIRDLIVES’ to 44-321. If you purchased VIP or party pass tickets, or made a donation through Eventbrite to the In the Yard fundraiser, Lisa Alpert will be reaching out to you shortly regarding your contribution and refunds. You may also contact her directly at

Thank you for your understanding as we navigate these circumstances. We look forward to welcoming large gatherings back to the museum as soon as we are able.”

LiveJazzKC presents Bird Jam 2021 Celebrating Charlie Parker @ MET @ Warwick Theatre
Aug 29 @ 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
LiveJazzKC presents Bird Jam 2021 Celebrating Charlie Parker @ MET @ Warwick Theatre

Live Jazz KC is excited announce a jazz series curated by renowned saxophonist & composer, David Valdez in at the historic Warwick Theatre (3927 Main St., Kansas City, MO. 64111). In an effort to continue to showcase the amazing talent in Kansas City as well as continue to foster the growth and development of the next wave of jazz musicians, Live Jazz KC in partnership with The Warwick Theatre and University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory’s Jazz Faculty we have curated a series of live performances starting August 22nd, 2021. We look forward to many great performances as well as continuing the rich tradition of live jazz in Kansas City.

August 29th – LiveJazzKC Presents: Bird Jam 2021 Celebrating Charlie Parker hosted by Stephen Martin. An open jam session dedicated to the music of Charlie Parker on what would be his 101st Birthday! (6:30-10pm). Admission is free for musicians participating in the jam session and there is a suggested donation of $5 for all others. Find more Spotlight: Charlie Parker events at

Kansas City Jazz Orchestra – Alto Madness @ The Black Box in the West Bottoms
Aug 29 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Kansas City Jazz Orchestra - Alto Madness @ The Black Box in the West Bottoms
The Black Box Jazz Series (formerly “KC Drive-in Concerts”) presents The Kansas City Jazz orchestra live in concert!

About this event

The Black Box Jazz Series (formerly “KC Drive-in Concerts”) presents The Kansas City Jazz orchestra live in concert!

General Admission $20 – please bring your own lawn chair if you’d like to sit.

Reserved tables (up to 4 people) – $30

The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is an internationally acclaimed, premier performing arts icon providing jazz entertainment and education.

Tickets available!


Gerald Spaits & Charles Perkins Quartet @ Polsky Theatre
Sep 7 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Gerald Spaits & Charles Perkins Quartet @ Polsky Theatre

Gerald Spaits, Charles Perkins, Roger Wilder and John Kizalarmut will perform Charlie Parker compositions and music he is noted for.

Kansas City and All That’s Jazz: Bringing Legends to Life @ JCCC Midwest Trust Center
Nov 7 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Kansas City and All That's Jazz: Bringing Legends to Life @ JCCC Midwest Trust Center

Tickets are available online and by calling the box office at 913-469-4445.

Featuring Greg Carroll and the Midnight Blue Jazz Quintet with special guest, Kansas City’s Vine Street Rumble Jazz Orchestra, directed by Kent Rausch. Hosted by award-winning KMBC 9 News Chief Meteorologist Bryan Busby.

Go on a journey of Kansas City jazz that celebrates the greats! This concert includes narration, multimedia images and historic video clips, all narrated by Bryan Busby. Enjoy newly arranged compositions and transcriptions of songs that represent Kansas City jazz pioneers Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Bennie Moten, Julia Lee, Mary Lou Williams, Big Joe Turner and many others!

Carroll leads the Midnight Blue Jazz Quintet on vibraphone and is the former CEO of the American Jazz Museum. He also is an award-winning clinician, guest artist and scholar and was named one of the 100 most Influential African-Americans in Kansas City. Carroll can be heard on 22 recording projects. His newest album, “Greg Carroll & Michael Pagan 2 + 2” was released in 2019 on the Arc label. Each Midnight Blue Jazz member is an award-winning, world-class musician with a strong performance and teaching résumé.

Kansas City’s Vine Street Rumble Jazz Orchestra is a 14-piece big band that honors the legacy of Kansas City Jazz during its “golden era” in the ’30s and ’40s. Band members are some of Kansas City’s top musicians, who love to perform the music of Count Basie, Jay McShann, Andy Kirk and the 12 Clouds of Joy, Harlan Leonard and His Rockets, Mary Lou Williams, Joe Turner and Pete Johnson, among others. The band delights in taking audiences “Back in time to 18th and Vine!” with toe-tapping, hand-clapping fun.

Busby is a natural showman who has become one of Kansas City’s favorite television personalities. He also is the principal timpanist for the Kansas City Civic Orchestra and has performed with the Independence Messiah Festival Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Percussion Quartet and the Moody Blues, and was a principal guest conductor of the Kansas City Youth Symphony.

Produced by Midnight Blue Jazz, LLC
Exhibit sponsored by Kansas City Jazz Alive

Supported in part by Peter Goulet.