As celebrated a figure in the pantheon of such swingin' legends as Miles and Coltrane, the saxophonist endearingly known as “Bird” laid the groundwork for boundary-pushing jazz when bebop was just in its infancy.
Half a century later, musicians still look to Parker's influential canon as a model of things to come. Accordingly, the genre's most innovative contemporary musicians flock to this roaming ode to the sax icon every year to celebrate his legacy. For the 2018 edition of this ever-exciting fest, another talent-jammed bill of young upstarts and proven vets take over Marcus Garvey and Tompkins Square Park to lay down the hottest grooves currently shaping the art form.
This year, you'll find the new lineup of eclectic cross-over jazz trio the Bad Plus (with Orrin Evans on keys), R&B-inspired trumpeter Keyon Harrold and Adam O’Farrill, the postbopping son of bandleader Arturo (and grandson of the equally legendary Chico).
You'll also find some beloved industry old-timers: alto vet Gary Bartz (who's played with everyone from Miles Davis to Art Blakey), saxophonist George Braith (renowned for his classic ‘60s recordings with Blue Note and Prestige) and avant-garde pioneer Charles Tolliver, whose experimental trumpet explorations gobbled up every style he could get his hands on.
Also look out for screenings, talks and other performances surrounding the flagship outdoor concerts.
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I´m already there... closing my eyes and feeling the bird all around. Floating in the park, with the taste of the air, the rain, the fog... mesmerized by every single feeling this master´s music feed me with. Oh I´m already there...
Gives you every reason to travel uptown. Great venue, mellow crowd, world class musicians, jazz legends, all for free. Be glad you stayed in the City this weekend. Come out and celebrate summer and America's original art form. Hope this becomes a tradition.