UWW’s Music Mosaics Fall 2020 Ends with Tribute to Charlie “Yardbird” Parker

Music Mosaics Fall 2020 Ends With Tribute to Charlie “Yardbird” Parker

UW-Whitewater Department of Music – Faculty Jazz Tribute

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Music Mosaics series features an energetic tribute to jazz legend Charlie Parker. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online by visiting tickets.uww.edu. Single viewer tickets are $13, and family viewing tickets are $26. Ticket holders will be sent a link to the performance via email on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, which they can use to access the performance until Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Charlie Parker, the legendary Grammy Award–winning jazz saxophonist who, with Dizzy Gillespie, invented the musical style called bop or bebop, would have turned 100 this past August. The Faculty Jazz Ensemble performs a tribute to “Yardbird.” The ensemble includes Michael Hackett, trumpet; Matt Sintchak, saxophone; Robert Hodson, piano; Brad Townsend, bass; Devin Drobka, drummer; and special guest Sharel Cassity, alto saxophone.

So what is bebop, exactly? We asked Michael Hackett, Ph.D., UW-Whitewater’s jazz expert: “Bebop focuses on the improvisatory elements of jazz and turns up the heat. It features greater harmonic and rhythmic complexity, jarring syncopations, and more dissonant note choices than the jazz improvisations that came before. Bebop helped elevate jazz to the level of ‘art’ music, where the music was anything but utilitarian, and not intended to be popular.”

And yet, we are still celebrating this revolutionary subgenre today! The lineup for this tribute includes five pieces: “All The Things You Are” by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, “Laura” by David Raskin and Johnny Mercer, and three of Charlie Parkers own creations, including “Moose The Mooche,” “Ko-Ko,” and “Relaxin’ At Camarillo.”

The creation of bebop is credited to two innovative musicians: Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. “Parker and his friend Gillespie helped to revolutionize the language and harmony of jazz. Parker in particular was a revolutionary figure in jazz around the globe, changing the way virtually everyone approached improvisation and setting an almost impossibly high bar for technical excellence for jazz saxophonists. Nearly every jazz musician, saxophonists especially, revere him for the originality, creativity, and passion that he brought to his music. 2020 is the 100th anniversary of Charlie Parker’s birth, and we will celebrate his legacy through our performance,” says Hackett.

Music Mosaics events provide funds for music scholarships. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online by visiting tickets.uww.edu. Single viewer tickets are $13, and family viewing tickets are $26. Ticket holders will be sent a link to the performance via email on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, which they can use to access the performance until Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

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