“Bird” Boot Camp is an applied jazz education experience that immerses participants into the theory and practice of jazz music on several levels. Performance. Compositional Theory. Improvisation. See our 2019 Guidebook.

Kansas + Missouri Participants

“Bird” Boot Camp teaches the music of legendary KC native, Charlie Parkeralso nicknamed, “Yardbird” or “Bird” for short.

“Bird” is still broadly recognized worldwide as one of our most brilliant American Masters and musical innovators.

Verve/UMe Press Release

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is CP_Bird100_DesignA_005_001_JAN2020.jpg
READ THE VERVE/UMe PRESS RELEASE AT PR NEWS WIRE: “Jazz Legend Charlie Parker Honored With Global Bird 100 Centennial Celebration”

KC Celebration History

Celebrating its sixth year, the annual Charlie Parker Celebration in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area will celebrate Mr. Parker’s centennial with Spotlight: Charlie Parker, a 10-day citywide celebration of his life and music from August 20-29, 2020. 

KC Jazz Alive, University of Missouri Kansas City, the American Jazz Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Mutual Musicians Foundation, Bruce Watkins Cultural Center and numerous other cultural and civic organizations will host jam sessions, tours, lectures, exhibits, panel discussions, poetry slams, workshops and concerts celebrating Charlie Parker—Kansas City’s native son.

Historic Gem Theater in Kansas City

More information available at SpotlightCharlieParker.org

“There was one thing he wanted to do. He didn’t worry about anything else — as long as he could play that horn.”

— Jay McShann

Bird = Standard Bearer

Today, Charlie “Bird” Parker is still considered one of the great musical innovators of the 20th century.

At age eleven, he started playing the saxophone.

At age twenty he was leading a revolution in modern music.

“A father of bebop, he has continued to influence generations of musicians, and sparked the fire of one of the most important and successful American artistic movements.”

— PBS, American Masters, Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker

KC Spotlight 2020

Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker (PBS)

Charlie Parker (“Bird”)

(Aug 29, 1920 – Mar 12, 1955)

Jazz Saxophonist and Composer


Considered the joint founder of bebop, along with Dizzy Gillespie, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker brought a new level of harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic sophistication to jazz. His music was controversial at first, as it drew away from the popular sensibilities of swing.


“Don’t play the saxophone. Let it play you.”

National Music Standards

Creating. Performing. Responding.

The 2014 Music Standards are all about Music Literacy. 

The standards emphasize conceptual understanding in areas that reflect the actual processes in which musicians engage. The standards cultivate a student’s ability to carry out the three Artistic Processes* of

  • Creating,
  • Performing, and
  • Responding.

These are the processes that musicians have followed for generations, even as they connect through music to their selves and their societies. And isn’t competence in Creating, Performing, and Responding what we really want for our students?

Students need to have experience in creating, to be successful musicians and to be successful 21st century citizens. 

Students need to perform – as singers, as instrumentalists, and in their lives and careers. 

Students need to respond to music, as well as to their culture, their community, and their colleagues.

National Music Standards addressed include:

Creating. Performing. Responding.

MU:Cr1, MU:CRr2, MU:Cr3, MU:Pr4, MU:Pr5, MU:Pr6, MU:Re7, MU:Re8, MU:Re9, MU:Cn10, MU:Cn11 (Composition/Theory and Ensemble).

Visit National Association for Music Education