KANSAS CITY, Mo — Kansas City Jazz Icon Charlie Parker would be 101 years old on Sunday, August 29, and members of the Jazz District have been celebrating his legacy all month long.
Parker passed away when he was 35 years old, but he is often credited with inventing Bebop music and influencing prominent musicians that weren’t born until years after his death.
Parker grew up in Kansas City and learned to play the saxophone in the area. He often played in Jazz Clubs throughout the 18th and Vine District.
At 19 years old he moved to New York, but his stories and music live on at the American Jazz Museum.
History Consultant Geri Sanders said that many people have probably been influenced by Parker without realizing it.
“We have to give those histories about different things about the organizations that Charlie Parker attended. The schools, the churches, the funeral parlors. There’s just so many seas that he probably touched in his life in this community and we still a lot of people who live here don’t even know that,” Sanders said.
The celebration will continue through the weekend. There will be music and family activities behind the Jazz Museum tomorrow evening.