Meet the Past Series Continues with Charlie Parker

For Immediate Release:
August 11, 2009
Contact: Steven Woolfolk
Meet the Past Series Continues with Charlie Parker

Kansas City Public Library Director Crosby Kemper III interviews Charlie Parker, portrayed by Walter Coppage, as part of the Library’s Meet the Past series with KCPT on Tuesday, August 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. The event is co-sponsored by the American Jazz Museum.


Born August 19, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas, Parker’s innovative approach to melody, rhythm, and harmony made him one of the most influential jazz musicians of his time. He is perhaps best known for his role in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by complex melodies and chord progressions.


Several of Parker’s songs remain among the most popular jazz titles in America today, including Billie’s Bounce, Anthropology, Ornithology and Confirmation. While best known for his jazz, Parker was also an accomplished blues performer.


Coppage, most recognized as the national television spokesman for Children International, got his start as an actor at the Missouri Repertory Theatre while attending the University of Missouri–Kansas City. At UMKC, he teamed with another student to form a comedy duo that performed at clubs and universities in 35 states. Coppage also opened for such legendary artists as Ray Charles, Tim Weissberg, and Otis Day and the Knights. His many stage roles have ranged from beloved classics to cutting-edge modern works This summer he has been in Washington, D.C., performing in Radio Golf at the Studio Theatre.


A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Please call 816.701.3407 to indicate your interest in attending or you may RSVP online.


Meet the Past features Kemper interviewing prominent historical figures (as portrayed by local actors and veteran Chautauqua performers) with Kansas City-area connections. The series will air in a regular prime-time timeslot on KCPT (channel 19) during the 2009-10 season.


Major funding for Meet the Past has been provided by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

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