This month marks the 60th anniversary of the death of legendary saxophonist Charlie “Yardbird” Parker who died on March 12, 1955. Bird lives on in the musicians he influenced from bebop to hip-hop.
In June, Opera Philadelphia will present the world premiere of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird.
As luck would have it, the first performance will be on June 5th. On June 5, 1945, the Dizzy Gillespie Quartet, featuring Charlie Parker, played the Academy of Music. Seated in the next-to-last row was John Coltrane who was seeing Bird for the first time. Coltrane later said:
The first time I heard Bird play, it hit me right between the eyes.
These are the kinds of stories we will share at All That Philly Jazz, which will be launched on Friday at the March convening of Open Access Philly. The event is free and open to the public. To register, go here.