Legendary KC jazz musician Charlie Parker honored with celebration near 18th and Vine

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City’s most influential jazz musician is being honored for the next two weeks during the inaugural Charlie Parker Celebration, which is 17 days of music and fun.

Many of the festivities will take place in Parker’s old stomping grounds near 18th and Vine.

Parker started playing the saxophone professionally at age 15. He helped start the be-bop movement. His music and legend have become more popular with time.

“Charlie had a photographic memory.  If he heard a tune once, he could play it note for note; days, weeks, months, years later. He absorbed everything he could from the musicians in Kansas City, but really had a genius that I can’t explain as far as his bringing a sense of freedom to jazz music and improvisation,” said Steve Hardgrave with K.C. Jazz Alive.

Parker died in 1955.

He’ll be among the first to be inducted in the jazz walk of fame next weekend.

CLICK HERE for a schedule of events.

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