Yardbird image Charlie "Yardbird" Parker
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Charlie "Bird" Parker
Yardbird image About Charlie "Yardbird" Parker
Career Highlights
1931 Learns to play saxophone at age 11.

1938 Joins big band with pianist Jay McShann in his hometown, Kansas City, MO.

1939 Moves to New York City, where he takes part in jam sessions and is influenced by the New York sound; he later moves back to Kansas City and rejoins McShann, who puts him in charge of the reed section. Parker's music is first recorded during this time.

1942 While on tour in New York, Parker catches the attention of jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk; he breaks with McShann and stays in New York. Here, he becomes one of the key players in the upcoming revolution in jazz: Bebop.

1945 Records era-defining songs with Gillespie, including Salt Peanuts and Shaw 'Nuff; the two do a nightclub tour in Los Angeles.

1947 Begins recording his defining albums, such as A Night In Tunisia and Yardbird Suite.

1949 Makes successful tour of Europe; a popular club in New York is named Birdland in honor of Parker.


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