American Masters

Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker

08/17/1989 | 58m 32s | Video has closed captioning.

At age eleven, he had just begun to play the saxophone. At age twenty he was leading a revolution in modern jazz music. At thirty-four, he was dead from years of drug and alcohol use. Today, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker is considered one of the great musical innovators of the 20th century. We're bringing this film back to celebrate what would have been Charlie's 100th birthday in August 2020.

Aired: 08/17/89

Expires: 04/30/23

Rating: NR

Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning

Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Ellen and James …

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