The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival annually assembles some of the finest musicians in the world who reflect Parker’s musical individuality and genius, to promote appreciation for this highly influential and world-renowned artist.

Screening: Beacons of Jazz
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music’s Jazz Performance Space (55 W. 13th St., 5th Floor, New York, NY)

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Beginning in 1986, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music has annually recognized jazz musicians and others who have “significantly contributed to the evolution of American music culture” with the Beacons in Jazz award. Recipients include Milt Hinton, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Joe Williams, Benny Carter, Max Roach, Chico Hamilton, and George and Joyce Wein. These gala events were attended by many musical luminaries and special guests, and prominently featured memorable performances by jazz legends.

In 1990, Cab Calloway was the recipient of the Beacons Award, and the evening’s festivities were filmed for posterity. Hosted by Bill Cosby, Donald Byrd and Milt Hinton were also present and captured live in performance. Now, for the first time ever, the footage from this historic concert will finally be screened. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to view this fascinating piece of jazz history. Filmed by Jon Hammond, member of local Musicians Union 802, NYC.

Screening: ‘The Girls in the Band’
Thursday, August 22, 2013
The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music’s Jazz Performance Space (55 W. 13th St., 5th Floor, New York, NY)

6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

THE GIRLS IN THE BAND tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 30’s to the present day. These incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet continue today to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them.

Following the screening, Director Judy Chaikin, drummer Kim Thompson and moderator Dr. Lara Pellegrinelli will join in a discussion about women in jazz and share their take on woman’s historic roles both in front and behind the scenes in the jazz world.

Family Jazz Concert featuring Matt Wilson
Friday, August 23, 2013
The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music’s Jazz Performance Space (55 W. 13th St., 5th Floor, New York, NY)

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival & The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music invite you to a free interactive concert for families with children ages 8 months – 5 years. Bring your kids to this fun introduction to jazz music!

New York based drummer and Grammy nominee Matt Wilson is one of today’s most celebrated jazz artists. He is universally recognized for his musical and melodic drumming style as well as being a gifted composer, bandleader, producer, and teaching artist. Matt’s positive energy, sense of humor and ability to explore a broad range of musical settings keeps him in constant demand. In addition, Wilson’s dedication to jazz has helped establish him as a beloved world ambassador for the music, on and off the bandstand.

World Premiere of “Bird is the Word” by Jimmy Heath, performed by Jimmy Heath Big Band
Friday, August 23, 2013
Marcus Garvey Park

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

This exceptional night celebrates Charlie Parker’s historic compositions and will feature a newly updated version of the 2004 commissioned work, “Bird is The Word” performed by jazz legend, Jimmy Heath and the Jimmy Heath Big Band in addition to Heath’s special arrangements of Parker’s classic works.

Jimmy Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant saxophonist, magnificent composer and arranger. He has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the past fifty years, including Charlie Parker himself, Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Wynton Marsalis. Heath has written more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards. During his career, he has performed on more than 100 recordings, including the most recent live big band CD “Togetherness” Live at the Blue Note on Jazz Legacy Productions. In 2003, Heath was the recipient of the NEA Jazz Master Award.

Kenny Garrett / Cécile McLorin Salvant/ Kim Thompson / Jaleel Shaw
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Marcus Garvey Park

3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Over the course of a stellar career that has spanned more than 30 years, saxophonist Kenny Garrett has become the preeminent alto saxophonist of his generation.  Garrett has always brought a vigorous yet melodic, and truly distinctive, alto saxophone sound to each musical situation.  Garrett’s latest album, Seeds From The Underground, is truly an homage to those who have inspired and influenced him, both personally and musically.  This album is a powerful return for Garrett to the straight-ahead, acoustic and propulsive quartet format that showcases Garrett’s extraordinary abilities.  The Boston Globe raved of Garret’s work saying he has a “generous, enthusiastic playing style that makes him a concert favorite, he has become a quintessential jazz musician who will take on any challenge, and make the result sound good.”  Among many other awards, Garret is currently nominated for 2 GRAMMY Awards as well as an NAACP Image Award.

Cecile McLorin Salvant’s unique interpretations of unknown and scarcely recorded jazz and blues compositions have helped her win the coveted Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010. She focuses on a theatrical portrayal of the Jazz standard and composes music and lyrics which she also sings in French, her native language as well as in Spanish.  Stephen Holden of The New York Times describes Cecile’s voice and personality:  “Ms. Salvant has it all: perfect pitch and enunciation, a playful sense of humor, a rich and varied tonal palette, a supple sense of swing, exquisite taste in songs and phrasing, and a deep connection to lyrics.”   For the 2nd consecutive year, Salvant is the voice for the Chanel’s “Chance” ad campaign. Salvant’s official debut, WomanChild, will be released in the U.S. on May 31, 2013.

World-renowned drummer Kim Thompson has taught and performed in over 33 countries, in addition to playing locally in many New York City’s most prestigious jazz clubs.  With many music credits to her name, including being a part of Beyoncé’s all female band; Thompson has become the CEO of her own music production company, KT Music Productions.  Thompson has also collaborated with Mike Stern in the album, Who Let The Cats Out?, which was nominated for a 2006 GRAMMY Award.   In 2010, Thompson released her debut album, Like Clockwork, which features 33 songs written and produced by the drummer herself.

Alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw has quickly risen to become one of the premiere Jazz musicians today.  The New York Times says Mr.Shaw’s music showcases his “stout, self-assured alto saxophone playing and his smartly conceived original compositions, without the taint of commercial pressure.” In 2005, Shaw joined world renowned drummer Roy Haynes’ Quartet and recorded the GRAMMY Nominated CD, Whereas, with the group.  In 2008, Jaleel was nominated as one of the Up and Coming Jazz Musicians of the year by the Jazz Journalist Association.  Shaw has also received two ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards, and in March, 2013, Shaw released his newest album, The Soundtrack of Things to Come.

Lee Konitz Quartet/ Sheila Jordan / Christian Scott / Aaron Diehl Quartet
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Tompkins Square Park

3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Alto Saxophonist Lee Konitz has enjoyed one of the most creative and prolific careers in modern jazz. While remaining on the cutting edge of improvisation, Konitz has had the opportunity to lead several groups that has included the “who’s who” of the jazz world. As a band leader, he has recorded dozens of albums over his storied career while also collaborating with famed jazz musicians on countless albums. The New York Times declares Konitz “is able to erase context and preconceptions, and more or less blow your mind.”  Konitz was awarded the NEA Jazz Master Award in 2009, voted “Alto Saxophonist of the Year” by Downbeat Magazine’s “Critics Poll” in 2010, and will also be recognized with the Germany Jazz Price Award in 2013.  At a young 85 years old, Konitz is still selling out concerts all around the world as he continues showcase his unique, rhythmic style.

Sheila Jordan, an American singer and songwriter, has been a student of Jazz her whole life and has become one of the most respected musicians around.  Jordan’s first great influence and mentor was Charlie Parker and, indeed, most of her influences have been instrumentalists rather than singers.  Jazz Times describes Jordan as “a one-of-a-kind artist who possesses the power to captivate audiences, inviting all to join her on a magical mystery tour of jazz history.”  In 2012, Jordan accepted the NEA Jazz Masters Award, which was given to her because of her lifelong commitment to Jazz and its teachings.  Jordan has received several other honors, including the 2008 Mary Lou Williams Award for a Lifetime of Service to Jazz. In 2012, she released her latest album, Yesterdays, which blends imaginative music making and deeply felt, richly emotional story telling.

At a young age, trumpeter Christian Scott launched a music career that has positioned him as one of the great innovators of his generation.  In 2006, Scott released Rewind That, which was a mixture of modern Jazz, Rock and R&B and garnered both criticism and praise – but ultimately a GRAMMY nomination. Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, Scott’s 2010 release, reflects the legacy of some of his musical heroes of the 1960s, and at the same time wields the music as a tool to address some of the very important issues of contemporary culture.  Scott’s most recent album, Christian aTunde Adjuah, was released in 2012 and allmusic says it “creates a seamless, holistic 21st century jazz that confidently points toward new harmonic horizons.”

Aaron Diehl is the 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz of the American Pianists Association. Hailed by The New York Times as a “Revelation,” and the Chicago Tribune as “The most promising discovery that [Wynton] Marsalis has made since Eric Reed,” Aaron Diehl’s distinctive interpretations of the music of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, and other masters pays homage to the tradition while establishing his own original voice. Diehl has performed with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Benny Golson, Hank Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Victor Goines, Wessell Anderson, Loren Schoenberg, and has been featured on Marian McPartland’s NPR radio show Piano Jazz. His latest trio CD is entitled Live at the Players.

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