Join us as we celebrate the life,
the music, and the iconic legacy
of Kansas City’s own:

Charlie “Yardbird” Parker!

Please keep checking back for More Events for 2024!

Jun
8
Sat
KCJA Sponsorship Booth At Banneker School Foundation @ English Landing Park
Jun 8 @ 3:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Jun
22
Sat
KCJA Sponsorship Booth at Lee’s Summit Jazz Festival @ Lee Summit Jazz Festival
Jun 22 @ 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Jul
17
Wed
July: Vivid Vision Panel – The Kansas City Jazz Sound @ Westport Coffeehouse Theater
Jul 17 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Discover the Kansas City Jazz Sound. Join us for a discussion of the impact of the Kansas City Jazz Sound: What is it? Why is it important to KC Culture? How did KC shape it?

For this session we will have the following panelists: (Panelists subject to change)

  • Clint Ashlock – Artistic Director the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra
  • Chuck Haddix – Author, Historian and Director of the Marr Sound Archives of UMKC
  • Steve Kraske – Moderator and Host of KCUR’s Up-To-Date

Join us at 6:30pm (Doors: 6pm) at the Westport Coffeehouse Theater for this exciting panel discussion. Bring your thoughts and questions with you! We are planning for an interactive and engaging discussion.

Thank you to our sponsors: Kansas City’s Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Performing Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee

Aug
4
Sun
Spotlight: Charlie Parker Opening Brunch – Featuring Millie Edwards @ The Phoenix
Aug 4 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Opening Brunch at the Phoenix, featuring Millie Edwards

Aug
15
Thu
KCJA and KC Bier Co Celebrate Bird, featuring Lucy and Bram Wijnands + Kadesh Flow @ KC Bier Co
Aug 15 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Join us for a night of live jazz from Kansas City’s finest musicians and special guests to celebrate the 104th birthday of the legendary Charlie Parker!

Charlie Parker was a pioneering saxophonist and composer who called Kansas City home, and his legacy lives on in the thriving jazz community today.

Musicians include: Bram Wijnands, Lucy Wijnands + Kadesh Flow!

This event is FREE and open to all ages. Seating is communal and limited.

Aug
17
Sat
Bird Salute at Charlie Parker Monument 18th and Vine
Aug 17 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Details soon!

Aug
20
Tue
Aug: Vivid Vision: Bird Lives Celebration Panel Discussion @ KC Public Library: Central Branch
Aug 20 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Kansas City Jazz ALIVE is proud to present 2024 Spotlight: Charlie Parker – shining a bright light on the musical genius of Kansas City’s own Charlie “Yardbird” Parker! Please join us for a discussion of Bird’s musical legacy and his everlasting influence on modern music.

For this session we will have the following panelists: (Panelists subject to change)

  • Carl Allen – Drummer, Educator and Director of Jazz Studies at UMKC
  • Carolyn Glenn Brewer – Author, Historian and Educator
  • Houston Smith – KC-Based Alto Saxophonist
  • Steve Kraske – Moderator and Host of KCUR’s Up-To-Date

Join us at 5:30pm (Doors: 5pm) at the Kansas City Public Library: Central Library for this exciting panel discussion. Bring your thoughts and questions with you! We are planning for an interactive and engaging discussion. Parking is available in the library garage.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out your registration. This demographic data is very valuable to us as a nonprofit organization for grants.

Thank you to our sponsors: Kansas City’s Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Performing Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee

Aug
24
Sat
Spotlight: Charlie Parker KC Jazz Alive 18th and Vine Walking Tour @ 18th and Vine District
Aug 24 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

About this event

Get your tickets TODAY for a walking tour of one of Kansas City’s most historic neighborhoods; 18th & Vine Jazz District! Celebrate Charlie Parker’s birthday by touring Bird’s old stomping grounds and feel his tunes run through you!

Chuck Haddix – Director of UMKC Marr Sound Archives, host of KCUR 89.3 “Fish Fry” on Friday and Saturday nights, author of “Bird – The Life and Music of Charlie Parker” and “Kansas City Jazz – From Ragtime to Bebop”.

Geri Sanders – Independent historical consultant, specializing in the community at the 18th and Vine Historic District and other diverse projects such being a part of the design team for the reopening of the Kansas City Museum as well as the Community Remembrance Project through the Legacy Museum, founded by Bryan Stevenson in Alabama.

Attendees will meet at 10am directly outside of the Blue Room. Bottled water will be provided. Please bring your tickets with you.

About the Tour:

During the days of public segregation, Kansas City’s 18th and Vine area developed into a self-contained community. The intersection of 18th and Vine served as the hub of a bustling business and entertainment district–the heart and soul of an African-American community, bounded by Independence Avenue on the north, Troost Avenue on the west, 27th Street on the south and Benton Boulevard to the east.

Just after the turn of the 19th century, an African-American preacher and his wife, the Reverend and Mrs. Sweeney, operated a truck farm in the 18th and Vine area. By the late 1800s, thousands of African-Americans settled in the area, then known as the “Bowery.” In November 1909, the first moving picture show for African-Americans, the Star, opened in a wood-frame building at the northeast corner of 18th and Vine, forming the cornerstone of the new business district.

The area grew quickly and by 1915 dry goods stores, laundries, fish shops, bakeries, barbers, cobblers, tailors, restaurants, nightclubs and all the businesses and services denied the community downtown packed 18th Street east of Paseo Boulevard. Apartments and headquarters for social clubs perched on the second floor above the bustle of commerce below. The fragrant aroma of hickory smoke from Henry Perry’s Barbeque pit at 19th and Highland wafted over the community. Street cars rattled down the center of 18th Street connecting the community to the rest of the city and jobs in packing plants, the railroads and homes of the wealthy. Once established, the community grew swiftly and prospered.

Young Charlie Parker came of age as a man and musician in the 18th and Vine area. After Charlie’s parents separated in 1930, he and his mother Addie moved to a two-story brick house at 1516 Olive Street just blocks away from 18th and Vine. Addie worked nights and after she left for work, Charlie began his nightly rounds of the night clubs dotting 12th and 18th streets. While on tour later in his career, Charlie often stopped off in Kansas City to visit Addie, play gigs in the clubs on 18th street and renew old acquaintances.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out your registration. This demographic data is very valuable to us as a nonprofit organization for grants and funding.

Spotlight: Charlie Parker Celebration Concert, Featuring the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra @ Folly Theater
Aug 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Save the Date! Details coming soon!

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