Commencing at midnight August 29th and concluding at midnight September 3rd, WKCR-FM (89.9 FM, wkcr.org) will present the Charlie Parker Centennial Festival, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of a colossal figure in American music with a 120-hour marathon broadcast.
The Festival will air 24 hours a day, and will showcase the majority of the saxophonist’s extensive discography, including both commercially issued material and rarities. Beginning each day with a potpourri of studio recordings and concerts, the Festival will primarily consist of thematic segments, including surveys of Parker records issued on the Savoy, Dial, and Verve labels and deep focuses into his early years, broadcast appearances, and essential collaborations with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.
Following the Festival, WKCR will present Beyond Bird (September 3rd), a 24-hour celebration (midnight to midnight) of Charlie Parker’s continuing impact on the world of music, art, and poetry.
Charlie Parker, affectionately known by many as "Bird," was born August 29, 1920, in Kansas City; he died In New York City at the age of 34 on March 12, 1955. During his brief life, he created one of the most consequential legacies in American music. Along with Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane, Parker is in the top rank of influential musicians in the history of jazz music. He’s also considered to be one of the greatest masters ever on his chosen instrument: the alto saxophone. Along with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie—his frequent musical partner—Parker is considered to be an originator of Bebop: a revolutionary form of jazz that emerged in the 1940s. He acquired the nickname “Bird” early in his professional career; for the last five decades, jazz fans have celebrated his music and inestimable influence with the phrase “Bird Lives!”
WKCR has produced special broadcasts honoring Charlie Parker for more than a half a century. In 1981, Phil Schaap inaugurated WKCR’s ongoing weekday broadcast Bird Flight, which concentrates on Parker’s recorded legacy and his life and times. We are ecstatic to be commemorating 100 years of Bird with this fully loaded festival broadcast, and we look forward to listeners joining us in celebration of the legacy of one of Jazz's absolute greats.
Once again, Bird Lives!!!!!!!!!
Check out the general schedule below, and click here for merch!