“They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” —Charlie Parker
“One of a handful of musicians who can be said to have permanently changed jazz, Charlie Parker was arguably the greatest saxophonist of all time. He could play remarkably fast lines that, if slowed down to half speed, would reveal that every note made sense. “Bird,” along with his contemporaries Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell, is considered a founder of bebop; in reality he was an intuitive player who simply was expressing himself. Rather than basing his improvisations closely on the melody as was done in swing, he was a master of chordal improvising, creating new melodies that were based on the structure of a song.” —Scott Yanow
Fly Higher: Charlie Parker at 100 celebrates one of the most innovative and influential artists in modern musical history and examines his impact on pop, hip hop, rap, rock and jazz. Acclaimed co-musical directors Rudresh Mahanthappa and Terri Lyne Carrington honor Charlie Parker’s centennial year by showcasing his uncompromising musical joy, humor and beauty, mining his deep repertoire and showcasing new, modern compositions. Rather than imitating the original, Fly Higher strives to forward the artform by developing new perspectives on tradition. Mahanthappa (alto saxophone) and Carrington (drums) will be joined by Charenée Wade (vocals), Adam O’Farrill (trumpet), Kris Davis (piano), Larry Grenadier (bass) and Kassa Overall (dj) for this extraordinary musical tribute to an American master.
We are grateful for the endorsement of the Parker Estate in this centennial celebration.
Funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge Grant Endowment.
“Bird Lives” painting by Vel Verrept based on a photograph by Herman Leonard, © Herman Leonard Photography, LLC