206 West 118th Street
When Charlie Parker finally moved to NYC Minton’s Playhouse was like his home away from home. Minton’s is where Bebop was nurtured and perfected. So many musicians elevated that room and stage and Charlie Parker was one of the first to put it on the map. Such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, Bud Powell, Charlie Christian, Lester Young and many more graced the stage of Minton’s Playhouse and now Live Bird – One Man Play about Charlie ‘Bird” Parker will be here. Come and support!
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 and performed by 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 revered 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. in March of 1995. 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
ABOUT JEFF ROBINSON
St. Louis Missouri native, saxophonist, composer, radio disc jockey, actor, director, playwright and poet, Jeff started the band the Jeff Robinson Trio in 1995 as a bridge between music and theatre. The “Trio” accompany poets at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA and have a weekly residency that has lasted for more than 20 years. The Jeff Robinson Trio have performed with some of the best poets in the United States of America, including Patricia Smith, Amiri Baraka and Quincy Troupe amongst thousand more.
Jeff is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where he studied with saxophonists Bill Pierce and George Garzone. He’s studied theatre with Oleg Tabakov, Artistic Director of the legendary Moscow Art Theatre Company and Shakespeare scholar Kristin Linklater.
He has directed several plays including Pearl Cleage’s “Blues for an Alabama Sky” which he received an Independent Reviewers of New England Awards (IRNE) nomination for Best Director. Robinson directed Craig Lucas’s “Reckless” for Theatre Zone and also his self-scripted “Alley Cats” at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston, MA with the Baldwin Theatre Company
He received an IRNE Award nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of the ‘Stage Manager” in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” at the Wheelock Theatre as well as his portrayal of Charlie Parker in “Live Bird” for the Baldwin Theatre.
Jeff toured the United States portraying Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Grimes Theatre Group production of Jeff Stetson’s award-winning play “The Meeting.” His radio show “Poetry Jam” was aired on WMBR 88.1 FM in Cambridge and was streamed live via the internet. He has recorded for Rounder Records and is presently working on a new recording with his trio.