Kansas City celebrates legendary jazz musician Charlie Parker

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Few people see Kansas City quite like Kim Parker does. While she's spending the day at the American Jazz Museum, to her the entire 18th and Vine District is a living history she's piecing together.

"It takes me back," said Parker. "It's hard to believe i was there - that I was there for all of this. It's overwhelming."

While her mom Chan never married Charlie "Bird" Parker, the two spent years together, and the jazz musician took Kim under his wing, introducing her to his world of jazz and bebop.

"It's in my DNA," said Parker, a professional jazz singer. "It really is. My life has been shaped by things I was exposed to."

That's because Bird's love for the genre was contagious to all touched by it. Now the the American Jazz Museum is passing on the contagion with "Bird: An Exhibition." Its opening coincides with Charlie Parker Week, which began Thursday.

"The Charlie Parker celebration is like a time capsule," said family friend, Carol 'CJ' Gatlin. "It's a history lesson and so what they will learn is a lesson in KC jazz and the historic 18th Street Jazz District."

You can catch the exhibit now thorough January. Click here for a full list of Charlie Parker Week celebrations.


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