As the world celebrates the centennial of Charlie “Bird” Parker’s birth, this film looks back at the twenty-one years Charlie spent at home in Kansas City and on his long-lasting impression on Kansas City Jazz.
Luckily, for the musical world, Charlie Parker grew up in Kansas City during the ’20s and ’30s. A destination for a low-moral character, Kansas City had an un-quenching lust for booze, women, drugs, and the music that accompanied such vices. Jazz. It was from that music scene where Charlie Parker cut his chops in late-night jam sessions. Most famously at the Reno Club on 12th where Jo Jones, disgusted with 16-year-old Charlie’s inability to keep up, threw a cymbal at his feet. Prompting an embarrassed young Charlie to sulk back home determined to one day “show those cats.” It was his elementary school music teacher calling him and his friends “Yardbirds” that set in motion what would one day become his famous moniker “Bird” and it was a car accident on a Missouri backroad that gave Charlie both a new horn and a taste for heroin. Before he ever played bebop on New York’s famed 52nd Street, Charlie Parker was Bird.
On the centennial of Charlie “Bird” Parker’s birth, KCPT presents a documentary that looks back at the twenty-one years Bird spent in Kansas City and his lasting impression on present-day Kansas City Jazz. NOT OF OUT NOWHERE will feature rarely seen historical archived footage of Charlie Parker and include interviews with musicians and historians with live performances from some of Kansas City’s most talented jazz musicians.
Charlie “Bird” Parker was a musical gift to the world from Kansas City. A gift that will continue giving because “There is music before Charlie Parker… and then there is music after Charlie Parker.”