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Kander Announces Program about the Life of Charlie “Bird” Parker



Jefferson City, Mo. — Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander today announced a program exploring the life and influence of jazz musician Charlie “Bird” Parker. The program will be held at the Missouri State Archives, a division of his office, on Thursday, July 16, 2015, at 7 p.m. Author and jazz historian Chuck Haddix will present his new book, Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker.

Saxophone virtuoso Charlie “Bird” Parker began playing professionally in his early teens, was addicted to heroin at 16 and passed away when he was only 34 years old. However, during his brief life, he changed the course of music history. Haddix weaves together firsthand accounts from those who knew the legendary jazzman with in-depth research into previously overlooked historical sources to create a compelling narrative portrait of a tragic genius.

Illustrated with several never-before-seen images, Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker chronicles Parker’s trials and triumphs: his struggles in Kansas City, his development of bebop with collaborator Dizzy Gillespie, his incarceration in the California State Mental Hospital, his rise to international acclaim, his stormy relationship with his fourth wife Chan, the death of his daughter Pree and his untimely demise from a life of excess.

Please join us as Chuck Haddix corrects much of the misinformation and myth about one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

The Missouri State Archives is the official repository for state documents of permanent historic value, and is located at 600 West Main Street in Jefferson City. All programs at the Archives are free of charge and open to the public, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on this and other programming at the Archives, contact Emily Luker, (573) 526-5296 or