GRAMMY NOMINATED SAXOPHONIST, TIA FULLER IS OUR 2023 ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE
SPOTLIGHTCHARLIEPARKER.ORG (August 19 through August 26, 2023) is in its 10th year of celebrating the iconic musical legacy of the world renowned Charlie Parker, who was born in Kansas City, Kansas 103 years ago and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri.
We’re gathering the details of the numerous related events that are being produced by KC area artists, organizations, and venues celebrating “BIRD” during that week on the Spotlight Charlie Parker website and promoting them to the public.
I’m currently the Vice President of KC Jazz ALIVE and chairman of the MARCOM Committee that’s tasked with helping articulate what’s going on. We are unpaid volunteers who love the music and the KC community. We love Charlie Parker’s music and believe that his contributions to the continuum are vital to modern developments in improvised music.
If you play or enjoy improvised music you can’t escape “Bird.” Even music that doesn’t sound like his descends from his lineage or is a response to it.
Charlie Parker’s influence on the music still impacts its melody, rhythm, and harmony 75 years later. His innovative approach of adding secondary dominant cycles to the standard jazz blues harmony is still a standard competency for musicians to attain.
Think about Miles Davis and all of his sidemen. And think about Art Blakey and all of his sidemen. This is only to highlight the subsequent impact of just two of Bird’s most influential sidemen.
Now it’s logical to consider that all of the subsequent generations of improvising artists in this continuum are inherently the musical descendants in a significant way of Kansas City’s own original, Charlie Parker. That’s cool.
I’m updating the websites all this week. So bookmark this link. Check out and subscribe to the events calendar so you can get any updates. Look for our promotional messages in various media.
Christopher Burnett (Link) Musician, Composer, Educator + Vice President, KC Jazz ALIVE “Raising the Tides that Lift ALL Jazz Boats”
Christopher Burnett and Darrel McKaig represented Kansas City Jazz ALIVE when they attended the Visit KC Tourism Outlook event. It was great. Jazz is in the presentation! And jazz musicians provided a portion of the prelude music.
KANSAS CITY JAZZ ALIVE is a volunteer community service situation working for the Jazz industry infrastructure in KC. It’s a great team of people to serve with on the board and the staff who support us is the best. It’s our 10th year and we continue to work together in concert with Jazz allies!
LOOK FOR US IN the 2024 Visit KC Visitors Guide
*Here’s our advertisement for the 2024 Visit KC Visitors Guide – Circulation: 150,000 Printed Copies and also a Mobile-friendly Digital Edition will be available.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF TEXT AND PDF METZ STUDENT JOURNALS FOLLOWS
“KANSAS CITY TRIP” BY Maxime Retif
No issues on the trip from Paris to Kansas City other than the plane being delayed from Dallas which just caused a bit of a wait, nothing major. Once in Kansas City, the families as well as Ann and Janet were waiting for us to offer us a warm welcome. The host family was very friendly and made me feel comfortable throughout my stay.
Bird boot Camp:
So we took part on the second day (August 19) in the “Birdboot Camp”, a sort of jazz music course. We were delighted to meet illustrious jazzmen from Kansas City in particular, such as Greg Caroll, Tia Fuller, or even Chris Burnett (and so on…). The masterclass we attended was interesting and enriching. However, we did not expect it to last so long, and that we played so little. There was a “Musical Salute” at the end of the day and we thought it would be in the form of a concert, but far from it; we had to play at most an hour of the whole day without a real concert or rehearsal.
Spotlight Charlie Parker:
Between concerts, jam sessions, at the Blue Room as at the Phoenix, the main event of the stay being the Charlie Parker spotlight has always been impressive. We heard talented musicians, progressed during the jam sessions, and it was a pleasure for Raphaël and me. Jazz as a passion, we were delighted to participate in such an event.
In terms of the activities planned by Ann, Janet, Jake and the host families, we were never bored. We discovered lots of different things, places, activities in Kansas City and we were really happy to have so many things to do and discover. For example, we were taken several times to restaurants that offered traditional Kansas City dishes, such as Mexican, barbecue, or burgers. I personally went to American SME High School three times with Macauley, the boy my age in the host family. The museums were also of course amazing, enriching and we learned a lot about Kansas City, jazz, culture…
I was amazed when I found out I had been chosen to travel to Kansas City. I couldn’t believe it! The stay was well beyond my expectations, I was able to progress in jazz, progress in English, discover a city, a culture, new people, and even great jazzmen! These ten days which were my first experience in the United States will remain unforgettable!
“FESTIVAL SPOTLIGHT CHARLIE PARKER” BY Raphael Mathis
The Bird Boot camp:
The Bootcamp was a highlight of my stay. I was able to meet Tia Fuller and play with the other young people. In Kansas City the approach to music is really different. Everyone is playing! Good or not so good, it’s not the most important, the main thing is to play together. Greg Carroll’s lessons and advice are really engaging because Greg is a huge fan of Charlie Parker. The musicians and especially the percussionists have an incredible swing! Everyone encourages each other! Americans are just crazy about jazz!
Jam Session at the Blue Room:
Being able to play with exceptional jazz musicians at the famous Blue Room is a dream come true! The atmosphere and the atmosphere of this room are really like in the great “American-style” jazz clubs that we are told and in which we dream of playing. This incredible room has seen great jazz musicians such as Lester Young and Count Basie! Laura, David and their son Rowan welcomed me as if I were a member of their family! Their welcome, their good humor and their kindness allowed me to quickly feel at ease. They made me share their daily life, their passions and came to see me at the concerts and events in which I participated. David even shared videos of my solos and many videos of my stay on his YOU TUBE channel! (must see: David’s youtube channel is called BIGBIKEDADDY, including my solo at the Blue Room). I hope to see them again! It’s an amazing family!
Tia Fuller’s approach to music and the master class she gave us at Bird Bootcamp taught me a lot about American swing. She is a very nice and very accessible artist (I did not have the impression that she has a grammy and that she performed with Beyoncé). It was for me a musical revelation in my playing and in my perception of jazz improvisation… I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with one of Kansas City’s great jazz musicians: Mr. Bobby Watson. It is an honor for me to have been able to meet such an artist. A day at the Worlds of Fun amusement park with Rowan! The huge American gambling halls!
The KCUR Radio:
Maxime and I were welcomed at KCUR Radio for an interview! A very good memory and some questions in English of course that, fortunately, I had been able to prepare for (in) advance…. It was for me the first time that I was interviewed in a radio. A bit stressful experience but a very good memory.
American Jazz Museum:
This museum is very well done. It brings together the entire history of jazz. There’s even Charlie Parker’s saxophone. I really liked this museum: there are different points in the museum where you can listen to music and have written explanations about different styles of jazz and different musicians. The Blue Room is attached to the museum.
Nelson Atkins Museum:
It is one of the largest art museums in the United States. This museum is very beautiful and there are works of art from all over the world, including French paintings by Monet, for example.
A HUGE THANK YOU to Ann, Janet, Lise, Jake, my host family, my teachers, the Metz Conservatory and all the people who allowed me to live this incredible experience in the country of Jazz! I will never forget this trip! I only have one thing in mind: GET AWAY!!!!!!!!! Goodbye Kansas City… see you soon!
Thanks to the efforts of Anita Brown-Dixon and Dr. Jacob Wagner for this reality!
As a Creative City of Music, Kansas City is working to:
promote jazz heritage as a driver for sustainable development through city-adopted policies for neighborhoods, with jazz music being the principal component;
implement cultural district planning according to the universal values carried by Local 627 African American jazz musicians union, to honor and valorize the historic and existing culture of the 18th and Vine Historic District, and local neighborhoods;
implement a Jazz Corridor, which identifies all aspects of Jazz for the national and international creative consumer for entertainment, education, historic preservation and businesses purposes;
build an economic development plan in the city’s urban core and cultural tourism sites which will include a strong international component and connect to countries with an interest in jazz and Black American Music; and
engage other Creative Cities through musical collaborations including the Voyage of the Drums Jazz Festival, aimed to foster inter-cultural understanding, tolerance and mutual respect through music.