Get Your Jazz On At The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival At Marcus Garvey Park In Harlem

August 17, 2021

Starting on Friday, August 27th, and going through Sunday, August 29th, 2021, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival 2021 in Harlem, NY.

The festival will be taking over Harlem’s historic Marcus Garvey Park as part of Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage.

They will start on the 27th with a celebration of what would’ve been Charlie “Bird” Parker’s 100th Birthday, titled “Bird at 100.” Alto saxophonist Vincent Herring invited two seminal fellow altoists — Gary Bartz & Bobby Watson – to deliver Bird At 100 (Smoke Sessions) as a tribute to and in honor of Parker’s legacy.

They’ll be supported by David Kikoski on piano, Yasushi Nakamura on bass while Carl Allen sets the pace from behind the drum kit. A special guest for the evening is alto saxophonist Antonio Hart, who will be joined by Miki Yamanaka on piano, Alex Ayala on bass, and Vince Ector on drums.

On Saturday, August 28th they look forward to “Charlie Parker with Strings,” a tribute to Parker’s Charlie Parker with Strings albums. They’ll be performed by the Donald Harrison Quartet and the Harlem Symphony Orchestra. Harrison, a New Orleans-born alto saxophonist (and former member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers), is leading this ensemble in honor of Parker, while the strings come courtesy of the HSO, comprising graduates of the country’s top conservatories and music schools, such as The Julliard School, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, and Indiana University. Harrison and the company will also debut two new works in styles of music he created.

Finally, on Sunday, August 29th, for the Charlie Parker Centennial, Willie Jones III and Jazz at Lincoln Center have assembled a multi-generational, international band of men and women to represent the global impact that Parker had—and continues to have—on music and the musicians that make it.

Jones serves as music director, anchoring the rhythm section on drums. The rest of the ensemble includes pianist Donald Vega; bassist and Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Endea Owens; the alto saxophonists include Justin Robinson (a veteran of Roy Hargrove’s bands), Sapporo, Japan’s Erena Terakubo, a bandleader in her own right with six albums under her belt, and Harlem’s Godwin Louis, who founded the “Experience Ayiti” foundation for multi-disciplinary arts education, and Juilliard masters student Sarah Hanahan.


Who: Bird at 100: Featuring Gary Bartz, Vincent Herring & Bobby Watson, w/Dave Kikoski, Yasushi Nakamura, and Carl Allen
Where: Marcus Garvey Park | 18 Mt. Morris Park West | New York, NY 10027
When: Friday, August 27th | 7 pm

Who: Charlie Parker with Strings: The Donald Harrison Quartet and the Harlem Symphony Orchestra
Where: Marcus Garvey Park | 18 Mt. Morris Park West | New York, NY 10027
When: Saturday, August 28th | 6 pm

Who: Willie Jones III – A Charlie Parker Centennial Celebration
Where: Marcus Garvey Park | 18 Mt. Morris Park West | New York, NY 10027
When: Sunday, August 29th | 6 pm

Marcus Garvey Park, 6316, Mt Morris Park W, Harlem, NY

Find out more about Marcus Garvey Park here.

Photo credit: Sean Jamar and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

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