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Marcus Garvey Park to Host Charlie Parker Jazz Festival

By Jeff Mays | September 23, 2011 1:59pm
Jazz legend McCoy Tyner performing in the 2010 Charlie Parker Jazz
Jazz legend McCoy Tyner performing in the 2010 Charlie Parker Jazz
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City Parks Foundation

HARLEM — Hurricane Irene blew away the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival that was scheduled for Aug. 27 and 28th.

But organizers said they couldn't let the year pass without paying tribute to "Bird," the alto sax jazzman credited with helping to create bepop.

A shortened one-day festival will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday night at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park. It will be the 19th year that the event has run.

"It's usually a two day festival to coincide with Parker's birthday in late August," said James Burke, director of the City Parks Foundation's Arts and Cultural Programs. "But after the city pulled all event permits that weekend we said this is too important to let go by the wayside."

Burke said the City Parks Foundation was able to pull together several of the acts originally scheduled to perform at Marcus Garvey and Tompkins Square park last month.

Among Friday's performers are pianist Kenny Werner and saxophonist James Carter.

Despite the dreary weather, the show will go on. Burke said the event is a chance to showcase the newly renovated Richard Rodgers Amphitheater.

""We are going rain or shine. Charlie Parker Jazz Festival fans are fanatics so I know they will show up," said Burke.