Musical Salute
Happy Birthday, Charlie!

Musical Salute

August 19, 2023 @ 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Charlie Parker Memorial
E 18th St & Vine St Kansas City
MO 64108

A musical salute to Charlie Parker, following Bird Boot Camp at his memorial.



BIRD BOOT CAMP began in 2014 as part of the original Charlie Parker celebration that was initiated (Spotlight: Charlie Parker) by the Jazz catalyst nonprofit organization, Kansas City Jazz A.L.I.V.E. The originator of the Boot Camp program idea was Greg Carroll, who partnered with Clarence Smith and they successfully modeled their one-day educational (Charlie Parker Student Music Boot Camp) event after some of the premier jazz camps and other music education programming they’d developed or initiated at various points in their respective professional careers over the years.

Spotlighting the life and musical contributions of Charlie Parker, Jr. (b. August 29, 1920, Kansas City, Kansas – d. March 12, 1955, New York, New York) by the entire greater Kansas City metropolitan area community was also considered to be long overdue among this initial consortium of noted artists, educators, Jazz venue owners, and arts institutions in the region.

In 2019, Burnett Music Foundation, a relatively new Jazz nonprofit organization, was asked to take over the program and has since assumed the primary role of artistic director and administrator, handling every detail of Bird Boot Camp – from the itinerary schedule for the day, booking artists and clinicians, organizing a coherent program, to funding the entire event through sponsorships, donations, and grants to preclude possible financial barriers to participation.

BMF added the Musical Salute element as well. In 2020 Burnett Music Foundation earned a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for Bird Boot Camp + Musical Salute. In 2021 the event was again very successful, was professionally produced, and held in downtown Kansas City at The Folly Theater. (URL:


The late Eddie Baker conceived a “21 Sax Salute” at Charlie Parker’s gravesite in Lincoln Cemetery where all of the area saxophonists would congregate to pay musical tribute to “Bird.” The tradition was resumed by Ahmad Alaadeen in 2002 up until his passing. The salute was conducted sporadically until the cemetery owner restricted public access to the historic site. Bird Boot Camp took up the “Musical Salute” as part of our programming in 2019 when Burnett Music Foundation took over administration.

PHOTOGRAPH: 2007 Charlie Parker Lincoln Cemetery Gravesite Tribute – Participating musicians shown (L-R) are: Horace Washington, David Basse, Stanton Kessler, Dan Jaffe, Bobby Watson, Kevin Gregg, Loren Pickford, Christopher Burnett, Ahmed Alaadeen, and Mike Corrigan.

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