City Parks Foundation is proud to announce the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. The festival is New York City’s annual salute to the legendary late saxophonist, featuring storied veteran players as well as young jazz musicians who continue to shape and drive the art form. This year’s festival runs August 23 through August 27 at parks and venues around Manhattan and will include free concerts, artist discussions, a film screening, and for the first time in the festival’s history, a dedicated evening of dance.
“We are thrilled to celebrate 25 years of the beloved Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, ” said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation. “In honor of this milestone we have expanded the program to 5 days, partnered with local institutions on family jazz events and open jam sessions, and are presenting a full evening of dance on the lineup for the first time. 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 City.”
The festival kicks off on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music with “[easyazon_link identifier=”B0000046WK” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Bird With Strings[/easyazon_link], ” a tribute performance featuring an ensemble of students and veteran jazz players honoring Parker’s 1950 recording, Charlie Parker With Strings.
On Thursday, August 24, 2017, the festival heads uptown to Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem for Jason Samuels Smith’s [easyazon_link identifier=”B000086EJB” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Chasin’ The Bird[/easyazon_link] Remixed, an added evening of programming in honor of the 25th Anniversary, and the first full evening of dance in the festival’s history. Emmy award-winning tap dance virtuoso, Jason Samuels Smith, and Broadway veterans, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and [easyazon_link identifier=”9766402523″ locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Derick K. Grant[/easyazon_link], bring Parker’s music to life through dance in this special performance featuring live music.
For the best picks in Harlem, get HWM's must read newsletter!
The festival continues in Marcus Garvey Park on Friday, August 25, 2017, with world-renowned clarinet player & saxophonist [easyazon_link identifier=”B06XGJTCN8″ locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Anat Cohen[/easyazon_link], who will lead a consortium of strings, horns, percussion, and keyboards with her jazz-folk troupe, and [easyazon_link identifier=”B06ZZ6GTBV” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Camille Thurman[/easyazon_link], a multi-talented saxophonist, flutist and vocalist.
On Saturday afternoon, veteran alto-saxophonist player [easyazon_link identifier=”B06Y282QPW” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Lee Konitz[/easyazon_link], a contemporary of [easyazon_link identifier=”B001NYBZUG” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Charlie Parker[/easyazon_link] when bebop came on the scene, will perform with his quartet in Marcus Garvey Park joined by drumming prodigy and pioneering female percussionist Terri Lyne Carrington, one of the most recorded jazz drummers of all time Louis Hayes (who has played with the likes of John Coltrane, [easyazon_link identifier=”B06XS1K96S” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Thelonious Monk[/easyazon_link] and Cannonball Adderley), and rising vocalist [easyazon_link identifier=”B00XJVNPJ0″ locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Charenee Wade[/easyazon_link], a brave new voice on the modern jazz frontier intent on using her gift to address social change.
On Sunday, August 27, 2017, the festival travels back downtown to the place where it all began, Tompkins Square Park, home to the inaugural Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in 1993, and located just blocks away from Charlie Parker’s home in the East Village. [easyazon_link identifier=”B000002MJB” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Joshua Redman[/easyazon_link], one of the most important contemporary horn players and widely considered to be the top sax man of his generation, will make his Charlie Parker Jazz Festival debut. NEA Jazz Master [easyazon_link identifier=”B01D01K3RK” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Lou Donaldson[/easyazon_link], revered by many as one the greatest alto saxophonists of all time; saxophone virtuosa [easyazon_link identifier=”B008SVRTZC” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Tia Fuller,[/easyazon_link] one of the world’s best jazz multi-instrumentalists, full-time professor and one-time member of the all-female band that toured with Beyoncé; and vocalist [easyazon_link identifier=”B00N3B1T9E” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Alicia Olatuja[/easyazon_link], who performed with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir at President Obama’s second inauguration and has been in high demand ever since, will also perform to close out the final day of the festival.
In honor of the 25th Anniversary, City Parks Foundation has also partnered with local institutions to present free and open-to-the-public jazz events around the city. Events include an all ages Family Jazz Party with Festival performer [easyazon_link identifier=”B00XJVNPJ0″ locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Charenee Wade[/easyazon_link]and a “Harlem Speaks” interview with [easyazon_link identifier=”B06Y282QPW” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Lee Konitz[/easyazon_link] at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, a screening at The New School of the 2016 film, I Called Him Morgan, about the life and tragic death of jazz musician [easyazon_link identifier=”B00QR1JYUI” locale=”US” tag=”harlemworld-20″]Lee Morgan[/easyazon_link], live jazz in the gardens at The Harlem Rose Garden and 6BC Botanical Garden, and jam sessions at Gin Fizz Harlem and Ginny’s Supper Club.
For the full schedule, visit cityparksfoundation.org