Live Bird at the Green Lady Lounge In Kanas City
I had a great time performing the play at the Green Lady Lounge in Kansas City on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. It was an extraordinary experience, and I want to thank John Scott, the owner of the jazz club for inviting me. He is a fantastic host and the venue and the entire staff at the night club is spectacular. It felt great to be back in Kansas City performing the play, and the Green Lady Lounge is the perfect place for it. It has a very elegant yet funky art deco vibe that lent itself well to Live Bird. It was an honor to be part of the 2016 Charlie Parker Celebration in Kansas City.
I had the pleasure of meeting Charlie Parker’s stepdaughter Kim Parker at the celebration. She attends the Festival every year, and her lecture about her father is one of the events. She saw that the play was scheduled for the Festival and came to see it. I talked to her afterward, and she loved Live Bird! We had a good conversation, and she had several compliments to share with me on my performance. Kim is the daughter of Charlie Parker’s last wife, Chan Parker. Charlie adopted her when he married Chan.
A nice video of Kim talking about growing up with Charlie Parker.
The audience was welcoming, vibrant and eager to witness their local hero Charlie Parker in the form of a one-man play. After the performance, several audience members shared stories of the late Kansas City trumpeter Buddy Anderson who was a friend of theirs. Buddy played in Billy Eckstine’s band with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and by some accounts introduced the two Bebop pioneers to each other. It was Buddy Anderson who had gotten sick while he was on tour with Bird and Diz while in Eckstine’s big band. Buddy had complications from tuberculosis and had to leave the band while they were on a stop in St Louis, and that’s when Miles Davis joined the band. The rest is history.
It was great having Live Bird at the Green Lady Lounge in Kansas City, and I look forward to returning in the early Spring.