Summer Salute to Charlie Parker
By A. C. LEE
It’s not impossible to imagine the jazz legend Charlie Parker putting the musical primitivism of punk rock into perspective with one of his eloquent and pungent zingers. On the other hand, were he here this weekend to see the AfroPunk Festival, a free outdoor concert in Brooklyn, the Miser wonders whether he wouldn’t sense some common ground with acts like Meshell Ndegeocello, Shabazz Palaces or Valerie June, who also build vanguard sounds from blues roots.
Alas, free passes to AfroPunk are all gone. (Only “fast pass” tickets remain;one covering the whole weekend will set you back a fairly reasonable $40.) But you can still celebrate Parker’s legacy this weekend at the annualCharlie Parker Jazz Festival.
Things kick off Friday night with a free lecture at the New School for Contemporary Music, on the intersection of jazz and Latin music. The talk, by Joe Conzo Sr., will review the contributions of musicians like Tito Puente and Parker’s close associate Dizzy Gillespie, and include rare live recordings of Parker performing with the Cuban bandleader Machito.
(Friday at 6:30; 55 West 13th Street, Greenwich Village; 212-229-5896;charlieparkerjazzfestival.com.)
On Saturday, the roving festival moves uptown for a concert in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem featuring the trumpeter Wallace Roney topping a bill that includes the singer Lionel Loueke, the saxophonist Melissa Aldana and the pianist Kris Bowers with the singer Chris Turner.
(Saturday at 3 p.m.; West 122nd Street at Mount Morris Park West; 212-860-1394.)
The festival concludes on Sunday with Kenny Barron, the pianist (and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master), taking the stage in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, sharing the afternoon with groups led by the drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, the saxophonist Craig Handy and the singer Brianna Thomas.
(Sunday at 3 p.m.; Avenue A at East Seventh Street; 212-387-7684)
CATCHING A BUG
The Miser has always felt nostalgic about Volkswagens. He clocked countless childhood hours in his dad’s Beetle, the oily engine aroma wafting through the back seat’s frayed vinyl upholstery. And rumor had it that the teenage Miser occasionally got up to “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”-style shenanigans in the backs of his pal’s VW vans.
If you happen to share the Miser’s fondness for VWs, consider a trip to Governors Island on Sunday for the Volkswagen Traffic Jam, an unofficial, enthusiast-organized gathering of classic rides, from bugs and buses to Things and Karmann Ghias. Spectators get in free and can cast a vote for their favorite vintage vehicle.
Catch an early ferry; on weekends, the first three from Manhattan and the first two from Brooklyn are free. The schedule and more information are available at the Governors Island website.
(Sunday at 10 a.m.; govisland.com; nycvolkswagentrafficjam.com.)