August 29,1920, his real name is Charles Christopher Parker, Jr. and was the only child of Charles and Addle Parker.
Kansas City, Kansas
March 12, 1955 in New York City while watching Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra on tv. He was then staying at his friend's house, the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter.
Contribution to Jazz Music:
Influenced the development of "bop" in the 1940's and one of the greatest improvising soloists in jazz.
He took music lessons in a public school and started playing the alto saxophone at the age of 13. In 1935 he left school to become a professional musician and joined different jazz groups in Kansas City.
In the early 1940's Parker's name started to appear in the music press. He joined Jay McShann's band touring the states of Chicago and New York. In 1941 he had his first recording session in Dallas. He then joined Earl Hines band and in 1944 they formed the Billy Eckstine's band.
In 1945, Parker had his own group and worked with Dizzy Gillespie to much extent. They later took their style of playing to Hollywood where they had a six-week playing engagement. Parker continued to work in Los Angeles performing in nightclubs and concerts.
In 1946 he was confined to a hospital because of his addiction to alcohol and heroin causing him to have a nervous breakdown. In 1947 he formed a quintet and they did recordings of his favorite pieces. He continued to perform in different venues and earned well. In 1951 his license was revoked preventing him from performing in New York.
His last years were beset with personal and financial struggles. He twice attempted suicide in 1954 but voluntarily checked himself in a hospital to seek help. March 5, 1955 marked his last performance at Birdland, a New York club named after him.
Hot House (Courtesy of YouTube)