Charlie Parker Jazz Festival

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Greg Osby performs in 2006

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is a free, two-day festival in New York City that celebrates the life and musical genius of Charlie Parker. Produced by the nonprofit organization City Parks Foundation, the longstanding jazz festival takes place every August (in honor of Parker's birth date) in the neighborhoods that Parker both lived and worked -- Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem's Historic District and Tompkins Square Park in the Lower East Side.

The festival assembles some of the finest musicians in the world who reflect on Parker's musical individuality and genius. In Spring 2003, City Parks Foundation took over production of the festival when the original organizers announced that they could no longer sustain it. In 2009 the festival entered its 17th season and offered a program featuring luminary jazz musicians Frank Wess, Cedar Walton, Gary Bartz, and Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadours paired with rising newcomers Jose James, Benny Reid, Pyeng Threadgill, and the Dred Scott Trio.

Previous festival performers include Cassandra Wilson, Chico Hamilton, Odean Pope, Bobby Watson, Hiromi, Geri Allen, Robert Glasper, Donald Hariison, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Roy Hanyes, Barry Harris, Vanessa Rubin, Randy Weston, Eric Lewis, Heath Brothers, Arthur Blythe, Wessell Anderson, Jason Moran, Joe Lovano, Earl May, Charles McPherson, David "Fathead" Newman, Cindy Blackman, and several others.

The New York Times has said about the festival that, “few jazz events in the city are as community-minded…[it’s] the jazz scene at its best…a concert for neighborhood audiences and the musicians.”

More information about the festival is available at City Parks Foundation's web site [1]