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The Bird And Bebop: Charlie Parker At 100

An undated picture of alto saxophonist and jazz composer Charlie Parker (1920-1955). He is considered by many to have been the father  of the modern jazz style known as "bebop".
An undated picture of alto saxophonist and jazz composer Charlie Parker (1920-1955). He is considered by many to have been the father of the modern jazz style known as "bebop".

It’s been 100 years since jazz legend Charlie Parker was born. Nicknamed “Bird,” Parker began playing the alto saxophone as a youth, eventually setting the music world ablaze with his penetrating tones.

He performed with the renowned musician Dizzy Gillespie and is credited alongside him for the birth of bebop music. Although he is widely known today for changing jazz, Parker died of pneumonia at the age of 34.

In the decades since his death, Parker has been the subject of widespread acclaim for his influence on jazz and the Beat Generation. Several of those tributes include poems, a film about his life, and an annual festival in his name. Miles Davis, who performed alongside Parker, is credited with saying, “You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker.”

We talk about his legacy and of course, we make plenty of time to listen to him play.

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