Name 14. Charlie Parker (1920 – 1955)



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14. Charlie Parker (1920 – 1955)

One of the greatest saxophonists in the history of jazz, Charlie “Bird” Parker was born on August 29, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas. He began studying music as a young teenager and left school at the age of 15 to pursue a musical career. In 1939 Parker moved to New York City, where he met trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, who became his close friend and collaborator. Parker and Gillespie formed their own quintet in 1945 and together created the revolutionary style known as bebop. Widely recognized for his complex, fast-paced solos, Parker’s playing was equally impressive on soft, slow ballads. His virtuosic style and groundbreaking compositions permanently changed the face of jazz. He died on March 12, 1955, in New York City.

Listen to: Celebrity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMGUraoYjaY (1:34)

As you listen to the music, answer the following questions. Short answers are fine.




  • What are the instruments used to make the music?

  • How does this music make me feel?

  • Is there a singer? If yes, are they male or female?

  • In what genre does this music best fit?

15. Dizzy Gillespie (1917 – 1993)

“You only have so many notes,” John Birks Gillespie once explained, “and what makes a style is how you get from one note to the other.” Gillespie was in full command of every note on the trumpet – with a special fondness for the high, hard ones – but it was the way he strung them together that made him one of the greatest artists in jazz history. Gillespie’s speed, agility, and humor, combined with his profound understanding of harmony, were central to the development of bebop. He was also a zestful showman who believed even the most challenging jazz should be “rhythmic enough to make you want to move.” To that end, master Chano Pozo, showed how jazz could be blended with Afro-Cuban rhythms. No one did more than Gillespie to demonstrate the power of jazz to cross all international boundaries.



Listen to: Salt Peanuts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOmA8LOw258 (3:56)

As you listen to the music, answer the following questions. Short answers are fine.




  • What are the instruments used to make the music?

  • How does this music make me feel?

  • Is there a singer? If yes, are they male or female?

  • In what genre does this music best fit?

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