LIVE BIRD is a one-man play celebrating the life of jazz legend and alto saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker that takes place in a jazz club in NYC and written by the playwright, director, actor, and saxophonist Jeff Robinson. While playing the music of Charlie Parker on solo saxophone and filling the stage with imaginary characters Jeff bring’s us back to 1954 in a small Jazz club in Harlem NYC and the great jazz icon Charlie Parker is on the gig.
As Bird, Robinson reminisces about his formative years in the hotbed of 1930’s Kansas City Jazz scene. He also tackles Bird’s heroin addiction. You’ll have a close-up and personal view of a moment in the life of jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker.
Live Bird made its debut at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston MA. Jeff read just about everything written about Charlie Parker while he was researching for the play. He sent the finished script to jazz legends Max Roach and Jackie McLean, who both loved what they read and encouraged him to work on a full production.
The debut production at the ICA also featured commissioned paintings of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holliday and other jazz icons by world-renowned NYC artist the late Martha Glinski.
Jeff had the pleasure of performing the play in Harlem NYC, and Doris Parker the late widow of Charlie Parker was in the audience. She loved his performance so much she befriended Robinson and gave him this quote;
“I knew Charlie as a man and not simply as a musical genius. Jeff portrays the Charlie I knew.”
Mr. Robinson also had the wonderful experience of performing the play at the Green Lady Lounge in Charlie Parker’s hometown Kansas City and Bird’s daughter Kim Parker was in the audience. She, like Doris, loved his performance so much that she befriended Robinson and gave him this quote;
“He got him! He caught the spirit and sound of Bird, from the tone of his voice to the sound of his saxophone. Live Bird lifted me. I was touched by the play and Jeff’s performance. Brilliantly constructed.”