New York City’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival celebrates 25th anniversary

The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary with an expanded five-day program this year. New York City’s annual salute to the late saxophonist, presented by the City Parks Foundation, will take place at parks and venues around Manhattan on from August 23 to August 27.

The festival will include free concerts, artist discussions, a screening of the film I Called Him Morgan (about the tragic life and death of jazz musician Lee Morgan) and a dedicated evening of dance. “We are thrilled to celebrate 25 years of the beloved Charlie Parker Festival,” said Heather Lubov, executive director of City Parks Foundation. “We hope all New Yorkers, young and old, jazz aficionados and new fans alike will join us in honoring the legacy of Charlie Parker and jazz in New York.”

The festival will kick off on August 23 at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music with “Bird With Strings,” a tribute performance featuring an ensemble of students and veteran jazz players honoring Parker’s 1950 recording, Charlie Parker With Strings.

Other highlights of the 25th Charlie Parker Jazz Festival include: tap dance virtuoso Jason Samuels Smith and Broadway veterans Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Derick K. Grant bringing Parker’s music to life through dance in a special performance featuring live music on August 24; clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen leading a consortium of strings, horns, percussions and keyboards with her jazz-folk troupe and saxophonist, flutist and vocalist Camille Thurman on August 25; saxophonist (and contemporary of Parker when bebop came on the scene) Lee Konitz performing with his quartet and joined by drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Louis Hayes, and vocalist Carenee Wade.

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