PBS announces KC Legends documentary


Posted by Bob Evans

Charlie Parker Documentary Premie 

On 100th  Anniversary of His Birth


Kansas City PBS is proud to announce the premiere of a new, locally-produced documentary, celebrating the life of jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker. Airing Saturday, August 29, from 7-9 p.m. on Channel 19, ​Bird:​ Not Out of Nowhere ​marks the centennial of Parker’s birth, and explores how he helped​  cement Kansas City’s own jazz legacy.

“We could not be more excited to present the story of Charlie Parker,” said Kliff Kuehl, President & CEO of Kansas City PBS. “The mark he left on Kansas City – and on the jazz industry as a whole – can’t be understated. He’s a true musical legend, and we can’t wait for our audiences to be able to experience this new documentary.”

Directed and produced by Emmy Award-winner Brad Austin (Me, Dorothy, and This.

Road to Oz; In Situ), Bird: Not Out of Nowhere ​takes an in-depth look at the 21 years Parker spent in Kansas City and his lasting impression on present-day Kansas City jazz. The documentary features rarely-seen archival footage and includes interviews with musicians and historians also offering live performances from some of Kansas.

City’s most talented jazz musicians, including Chuck Haddix, Bobby Watson, and more.​   The two-hour premiere of Bird: Not Out of Nowhere​ will also feature exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with the filmmakers and local musicians.

“As someone who will always call Kansas City home, I am blessed to have been able to make a film about Charlie Parker, a Kansas City man that has influenced not just music,​ but all the arts,” said Austin.​

Born in 1920, Parker grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, near Westport during the height of Prohibition. At the age of 11, he picked up the saxophone, laying the foundation of his musical career. It was in the Kansas City music scene where he cut his chops on late-night performances, becoming a renowned soloist, improvisational and leading figure in the development of bebop alongside Dizzy Gillespie. As his mastery and influence on jazz grew, Parker’s lifestyle would ultimately cement his legacy and his demise.

Listeners of 90.9 The Bridge can also tune in on Tuesday, August 25 at 6 p.m. for the weekly show, Eight One Sixty​​, as host Chris Haghirian features select songs from Charlie Parker, as well as music from local artists who were inspired by the jazz legend.

Bird: Not Out of Nowhere​ airs August 29 at 7 p.m. on Channel 19 and is presented by the AARP.

For more information about Kansas City PBS visit kansascitypbs.org.

Kansas City PBS is a non-profit multimedia organization located in midtown Kansas City. Founded in 1961, KC PBS operates four television channels, as well as working with sister brands Flatland, digital news and culture magazine, and 90.9 The Bridge, an NPR music discovery public radio station.


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