Kansas City's annual tribute to jazz icon Charlie Parker is marking its 10th anniversary
Spotlight: Charlie Parker 2023 welcomes jazz fans from all over the world to celebrate the iconic saxophonist with a series of concerts, educational opportunities and jam sessions.
Kansas City saxophonist Charlie Parker may have lived just 34 years, but his impact on American music and jazz has only grown over the last century.
"I used to tell my students all the time, if you want to become sophisticated in this music, you have to enter through one gateway, and that gateway into being sophisticated in jazz is to learn Bird and to learn bebop ," says Greg Carrol, board president of Spotlight: Charlie Parker and president of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City,
The weekend's festivities — the 10th anniversary of the Spotlight: Charlie Parker series — will feature jam sessions, musical tributes, history tours and insightful panel discussions. Another highlight of the event is a performance from Grammy-nominated artist Tia Fuller, who will serve as the organization's 2023 artist-in-residence.
Kansas City-based vocalist, Deborah Brown participate in a panel discussion on, "Women in Jazz, Charlie Parker's Influence." Brown says she was introduced to Parker's music at a young age.
"My mom was the dean of music at the Charlie Parker Academy, along with Eddie Baker," Brown said. "But before then, my father loved listening to bebop music, so Charlie Parker was in my ear then and still is."
- Gregory Carrol, president of the Spotlight: Charlie Parker board and director of development for the Youth Symphony of Kansas City
- Deborah Brown, vocalist
2023 Spotlight: Charlie Parker will take place on August 19-26, 2023. The list of events, time and locations can be found here.