Charlie Parker Chronology




Created by Leif Bo Petersen

Last Update: January 23, 1023.




References/Further Details



January 2


Charlie Parker

Open Door, New York, NY.

9 p.m.

Bob Reisner (prod).


Notice in Villager, December 30, 1954, ?

January 9

Charlie Parker and His All Stars

Open Door, New York, NY.

5:30–7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.–2 a.m.


K. Vail (ed.), Charlie Parker & Jazz Club Memorabilia (2007), 36: Handbill.

January 24

Charlie Parker

Acc. by local musicians later replaced by Wade Legge (p), Earl May (b), and Will Bradley Jr. (d).

Comedy Club, Baltimore, MD.

January 24-30.

Ad in Baltimore Afro-American, January 22, 1955, 18: Parker opening January 24.

“Now in Person,” Baltimore Afro-American, January 25, 1955, 6: Parker playing nightly at Comedy Club.

Ad in Baltimore Afro-American, January 29, 1955, 21: Charlie Parker. Don Gardner and His Trio opening January 31:

Ahmed Basheer in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1975), 41: Tells about this gig.



Charlie Parker

Release of Clef 89129.

10” 78 rpm. record.


Recorded December 30, 1952

Charlie Parker Quintet

Clef 89129 A


Clef 89129 B

Cosmic Rays


“Sounds,” Daily Tar Heel, February 12, 1955, 2: Review mentioning Kim.

“Reviews,” Metronome, April 1955, 42: Cosmic Rays: A- (excellent); Kim: B (good).



Metronome All Stars

Alto Sax

1. Paul Desmond

2. Lee Konitz

3. Charlie Parker

4. Bud Shank

5. Art Pepper


“Four New Faces in Latest Metronome All Stars,” Metronome, February 1955, 15–17.

February 5

Charlie Parker

acc. by

Candy Johnson Quartet

Madison Ballroom, Detroit, MI.

February 5-6.


Ad in Detroit Free Press, February 5, 1955, 10.


February 11

Charlie Parker

Ira Sullivan (tp); Charlie Parker (as); Norman Simmons (p); Victor Sproles (b); Bruz Freeman (d).

Bee Hive Lounge, Chicago, IL.

February 11-14.

Sunday Matinee 4 pm.

Joe Segal (mc).


Ad in Chicago Daily News, January 11, 1955, 20.

J. Segal, “Bird in Chicago,” Down Beat, March 11, 1965, 19: Memories and photo by Segal.

K. Vail, Bird’s Diary (1996), 169–71:  has photos and memories by Joe Segal and Norman Simmons.

Parker was in bad health at this engagement and unable to complete sets the first days.

February 14

Johnny Smith Quartet

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker (as); Barry Harris (p); Major Holley (b); Elvin Jones (d).

Rouge Lounge, Detroit, MI.

February 14-20.

Matinee Sunday jazz concert 4–6:30 pm.


Ad in Detroit Free Press, February 14, 1955, 18: Opening tonight.

Ad in Detroit Free Press, February 18, 1955, 14: Last three nights.

Elvin Jones in  https://amhistory.si.edu/jazz/Jones-Elvin/Jones_Elvin_Transcript.pdf: Tells of a 2-week gig with Parker at Crystal Lounge [sic]: Charlie Parker, Barry Harris, Elvin Jones, and “Mule” (b). Gives date as just before Parker committed suicide.

“Mule” was the nickname of Major Holley (information from Jay Becker).


February 21

Charlie Parker

Blue Note, Philadelphia, PA.

February 21-27.


“Bird on the Wing,” Down Beat, March 9, 1955, p.

March 4

Charlie Parker

Kenny Dorham (tp); Charlie Parker (as); Bud Powell (p); Charles Mingus (b); Art Blakey (d).

Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson Quintet

Birdland, New York, NY.

March 4-5.

The engagement stops on March 4, after disorderly scenes between the musicians at the stage.


“Goings on About Town,” New Yorker, February 26, 1955, 6: Joe Loco Band, Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson Quintet.

Ad in New York Amsterdam News, February 26, 1955, 28: Winding/Johnson; Joe Loco.

“Goings on About Town,” New Yorker, March 5, 1955, 6: Joe Loco Band, Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson Quintet. All closing March 9. Opening March 10: Gillespie band, Stan Getz Quintet, and Chris Connor. Jam Session on Mondays.

C. Haddix, The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (2013), 159–60 and note 62 178: Leonard Feather states that it was a two-day gig, which stopped the first night.

Chan Parker (Richardson), My Life In E-Flat (1993), 51: Chan Parker tells about this gig and the row on the stage, which she heard about from others.

See also P. Pullman, Wail: The Life of Bud Powell (e-book ed. 2012), chapter 11 for a detailed and well-documented account of this gig: Pullman has Parker’s gig stopping the second evening.


March 5

Bop vs Dixieland

Miles Davis (tp), Charlie Parker (as), Coleman Hawkins (ts), and others.

Bobby Hackett (tp) Miff Mole, (tb); Pee Wee Russell (cl); Joe Sullivan (p); Pops Foster (b); Zutty Singleton (d); Jimmy Rushing (voc).

Stuyvesant Casino, New York, NY.

March 5­-6.


“Bopsters at Casino,” Daily News, March 3, 1955, 67.

March 9

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker visits Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswater at the Stanhope Hotel, New York, NY. He is ill and a doctor is called. He stays there the following days.


R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1975), 131–35: Reisner gives a summary of the press reactions and accounts from Baroness de Koenigswater and Dr. Freymann.


March 10

Charlie Parker

Lee Konitz Quartet

Storyville, Boston, MA.

Opening Thursday, March 10.


Ad in Boston Daily Record, March 9, 1955, 31.

Not realized by Parker.



March 12

Charlie Parker

Stanhope Hotel, New York, NY.

Charlie Parker dies in the apartment of Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswater.


Baroness de Koenigswater in R. Reisner, Bird: The Legend of Charlie Parker (1975), 133–34.

L. Kopitnik, “Bird Documents,” JAM (Jazz Ambassador Magazine), August/September 2015, 12–13: Here excerpts of the City of New York autopsy report are shown and quoted.


March 21

Charlie Parker

Abyssinian Church, New York, NY.

Funeral Service.


“Two ‘Mrs. Parkers’,” New York Age, March 26, 1955, 1: Photos of Doris Parker and Chan Richardson.

March 21

Charlie Parker

9 p.m. Broadcast WQXE: World of Jazz: Memorial program for Charlie Parker.


“Today’s Radio Program,” Bridgeport Post (CT), March 21, 1955.

April 2

Memorial Concert for Charlie “Bird” Parker.

Henry Red Allen, Pearl Bailey, Louis Bellson, Art Blakey, Kenny Clarke, Sammy Davis Jr., Erroll Garner, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Gigi Gryce, Roy Haynes, Milt Hinton, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Herb Jeffries,  J. J. Johnson, Wynton Kelly, Lee Konitz, Baby Lawrence, Clifford Brown, Mat Matthews, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Oscar Peterson, Tommy Potter, Paul Quinichette, Timmie Rogers, Aron Sachs, Hazel Scott, Charlie Shavers, Sahib Shihab,  Horace Silver, Lucky Thompson, Lennie Tristano, Barry Ulanov, Sarah Vaughan, Mary Lou Williams, and Lester Young.

Carnegie Hall, New York, NY.


Benefit Concert. Dizzy Gillespie, Hazel Scott, and Mary Lou Williams (arr.)


“Jazz World to Salute Parker on This Sat. Nite,” New York Age, April 2, 1955, 17.

K. Vail (ed.), Charlie Parker & Jazz Club Memorabilia (2007), 36: Concert Program.

April 3

Charlie Parker Memorial Concert

Birdland, New York, NY.

Benefit Concert Oscar Goodstein (arr.)

This is cancelled in favor of the Carnegie Hall concert.


“Jazz World to Salute Parker on This Sat. Nite,” New York Age, April 2, 1955, 17.