HaddixF13Jazz innovator Charlie “Bird” Parker was born on August 29, 1920 in Kansas City.

Before his death at age 34, Parker transformed jazz with harmonic creativity and complex melodic saxophone lines.

Chuck Haddix, author of Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker, has written and spoken a great deal about the saxophonist’s influence on the musical world.

“Bird is like Mozart,” Haddix told The Pitch, an entertainment and arts paper in Bird’s home town of Kansas City. “He changed everything in music. There’s music before Charlie Parker, and there’s music after Charlie Parker.”

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