You are here


July 19 - December 31, 2020


This exhibit, co-curated by the American Jazz Museum and Chuck Haddix of UMKC Libraries and the La Budde Special Collections, provides an in-depth look at Parker's brilliance and charisma, impacting the course of music like no other. KC native and pioneering composer and improviser, Charlie Parker ushered in a new era of jazz and influenced subsequent generations of musicians. This centennial exhibition features groundbreaking research, album covers, sheet music, and rare audio selections. 

Sponsored in part by the UMKC University Libraries

Click here to access audio selections from the exhibit!





Rara Avis, Martel Chapman

Artist Martel Chapman creates a world driven by jazz musicians and musical instruments. “Rara Avis,” Latin for rare bird, depicts Charlie Parker in the form of Cubism. This painting was also on display for an American Jazz Museum exhibit in 2007.





Charlie Parker Contract, Musician's Protective Union

Written in 1951, this contract gave Charlie Parker musician’s union protections for a performance with the Woodie Herman Orchestra in Kansas City at the Municipal Auditorium. He played from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am, receiving $200 after the show.





Swedish Schnaaps, Charlie Parker and His Orchestra

Swedish Schnapps (The Genius of Charlie Parker, volume 8) (MG V-8010) is a Charlie Parker compilation album, released by Verve Records, compiling recordings made by two different groups, on two different dates in 1951. Tracks 1 to 6 were recorded in August, with Parker on saxophone, Red Rodney on trumpet, John Lewis on piano, Ray Brown on bass, and Kenny Clarke on drums. Tracks 7 to 12 were recorded in January, with Parker on saxophone, Miles Davis on trumpet, Walter Bishop Jr. on piano, Teddy Kotick on bass, and Max Roach on drums.