Charlie Parker

Saxophonist + Composer

Charles "Charlie" Parker, Jr., also known as "Yardbird" and "Bird", was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Miles Davis once said, "You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker.

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Charlie Parker.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Charlie Parker.


1920 Birth Born on August 29, 1920.


1934 13 Years Old Charles Parker, Jr. was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, the only child of Adelaide "Addie" (Bailey) and Charles Parker. He attended Lincoln High School in September 1934, but withdrew in December 1935, just before joining the local musicians' union. … Read More
1937 16 Years Old In 1937, Parker played at a jam session at the Reno Club in Kansas City. … Read More
1938 17 Years Old In 1938 Parker joined pianist Jay McShann's territory band. … Read More
1939 18 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1939 Parker moved to New York City, to pursue a career in music. … Read More


1945 24 Years Old 1 More Event
It was not until 1945, when the recording ban was lifted, that Parker's collaborations with Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Bud Powell and others had a substantial effect on the jazz world. (One of their first small-group performances together was rediscovered and issued in 2005: a concert in New York's Town Hall on June 22, 1945.) Bebop soon gained wider appeal among musicians and fans alike.
1948 27 Years Old …  He considered Chan his wife although he never married her, nor did he divorce his previous wife, Doris, whom he had married in 1948. … Read More
1949 28 Years Old On November 30, 1949, Norman Granz arranged for Parker to record an album of ballads with a mixed group of jazz and chamber orchestra musicians. … Read More


1953 32 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1953, Parker performed at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada, joined by Gillespie, Mingus, Powell and Roach. … Read More
1955 35 Years Old Parker died on March 12, 1955, in the suite of his friend and patroness Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter at the Stanhope Hotel in New York City, while watching The Dorsey Brothers' Stage Show on television.
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