Charlie Parker Jazz Fest Set for August in NYC
This year’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in New York City will include an array of pianists, vocalists and other jazz musicians brought together to perform in honor of Parker and his creative legacy. The festival, to be held on Aug. 23 and 24, is produced and organized annually by the City Parks Foundation. The locations of the performances will be Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park and Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, both areas of the city where Parker lived and worked during his lifetime.
“That’s where Bird played all the great clubs back in the day,” said James Burke, the director of arts and creative programs for the City Parks Foundation.
The first day of the festival will feature pianist Hank Jones, vocalist Vanessa Rubin, drummer Rashied Ali and pianist Robert Glasper performing at Marcus Garvey Park. The following day, pianist Randy Weston, trumpeter Jerry Gonzales and Fort Apache, pianist Eric Lewis and vocalist Gretchen Parlato will perform at Tompkins Square Park.
Burke says the organizers of this year’s festival are thrilled with the lineup they’ve put together for the 16th annual festival. “We love to bring people out in the name of the performing arts,” Burke said. “But the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is special because we’re honoring one of the great American music innovators.”
The festival also highlights an original piece commissioned by the City Parks Foundation paying tribute to Parker, to be performed by pianist Lewis.
All performances are free, and both programs begin at 3 p.m.
Last year’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival included artists Abbey Lincoln, Chico Hamilton, Marc Cary, Lezlie Harrison, and Maurice Brown.