Charlie Parker

Creatively Speaking
5:17 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Opera Philadelphia Gives Us: "The Bird"

Whenever Charlie Parker played a solo, you knew you'd feel good by the end. Opera Philadelphia is jumping off an even higher dive - an opera about the celebrated saxophonist, titled Charlie Parker's Yardbird that the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports will bring many unexpected things to the Perelman Theater at its 2015 premiere. 

Latest from ICON Magazine
2:11 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

ICON: The Jazz Scene

ORGAN-IZING: In keeping with Philadelphia’s contribution to jazz through the years, it must be mentioned that the city and surrounding areas are also known for producing some of the finest jazz organ players in history. The most famous of them all, Jimmy Smith, was born in Norristown. Joey DeFrancesco, a native Philadelphian, helped put the Hammond B-3 organ back on the map. And who can forget area natives like Richard “Groove” Holmes and Trudy Pitts? Organist Dan Fogel has been at it for a long time, despite trends and ups and downs in jazz organ popularity.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
6:44 am
Sat October 19, 2013

The Birth Of Bird: Young Charlie Parker Found Focus, Faith In Music

Charlie Parker started playing as a boy, when his mother gave him a saxophone to cheer him up after his father left. He went on to spearhead a musical revolution.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 7:40 am

Charlie "Bird" Parker was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. In his brief life, Parker created a new sound on the alto saxophone and spearheaded a revolution in harmony and improvisation that pushed popular music from the swing era to bebop and modern jazz.

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CD Selections
5:56 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Bob Perkins Recommends...Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes

Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie have been credited with changing the face of jazz in the mid 1940s. They kicked it up a notch, and ushered in an era known as "modern jazz" - which some dubbed "bebop."


Amazingly, Parker was only widely known for about a decade before he died in 1955 at the age of 34. He accomplished great fame while living a self-destructive lifestyle, which included frequent use of controlled substances and consumption of hard liquor. But despite living on the edge, his genius shined through.

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