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New York Daily Photo: Charlie Parker Jazz Fest
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Monday, 27 August 2007

Charlie Parker Jazz Fest

The 15th annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival took place this weekend on Saturday, August 25 at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, and Sunday, August 26 at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, in the neighborhoods where Parker lived and worked. There is, of course, a plethora of information on and offline about renowned jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker (1920 - 1955) - click here for his official website. From the website of City Parks Foundation who sponsored the festival: "The festival assembles some of the finest musicians in the world who reflect on Parker's musical individuality and genius, to promote appreciation for this highly influential and world-renowned artist." I attended part of the concert at Tompkins Square Park. I'm not particularly familiar with the jazz world, but I have it on good authority that the performers who celebrated this event were indeed world class: Chico Hamilton, Todd Williams and Maurice Brown. Abbey Lincoln was scheduled but unable to perform - a surprise visit was made by Cassandra Wilson who sang in her place. The afternoon concerts were well attended with an estimated 5000 at Tompkins Square Park. The thunderstorms which were predicted never came to pass - the day cleared, the afternoon's weather became quite nice. Many took to the lawns and spread out to relax. There's nothing like an outdoor summer concert in perfect weather. This was a nice way for jazz fans to usher out the summer ...


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