Charlie Parker’s Yardbird

Daniel Schnyder & Bridgette A. Wimberly • Apr. 10, 13, 16, 18, 20, 22, 2021

While the body of the legendary tormented saxophonist Charlie “Yardbird” Parker lies unidentified in a New York City morgue, his ghost travels back to Birdland, the famed New York City jazz club named after him. As he struggles to complete his final masterpiece, the great bebop innovator revisits the demons, inspirations, and women who have both fueled and hindered his creative genius.

With the aid of his strong mother Addie, three of his four wives, and his partner in the bebop jazz revolution, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie will struggle to calm his demons and write his new masterpiece before his body is identified in the morgue and this gig is up forever. Can he do it, or will the demons of his past rear their ugly heads?

Join us on a freeform expedition into the mind, heart, and personal purgatory of the man they called Yardbird.

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This production is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Antony Walker conducts. Tomé Cousin directs.

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Charlie Parker (Martin Bakari) and Dizzy Gillespie (Yazid Gray). Photo by David Bachman

Charlie Parker’s (Martin Bakari) mom Addie (Jasmine Muhammad) tells him he can’t stay in Kansas City. Photo by David Bachman

Chan (Véronique Filloux) and Charlie Parker (Martin Bakari) fall in love. Photo by David Bachman

Charlie Parker (Martin Bakari) tries to show his wife Chan (Véronique Filloux) his final composition, but it’s too late. Photo by David Bachman

Addie Parker (Jasmine Muhammad). Photo by David Bachman

Cast and Artistic Team

Details and Resources

Synposis

Audio Preview Excerpts