Charlie Parker “Bird” was born on August 29, 1920, in Kansas. Although he didn’t have any musical aspirations at an early age, his father’s musical background, however, was an element of influence for the young Parker. He started playing at the age of 11 and by 14 was an active part of his school band. Playing in clubs around Kansas, Parker worked hard to hone his musical talents.
A move to New York City in 1939 became a turning point in Parker’s life. He held several jobs but all of his free time was devoted to practicing. He soon joined bands that would perform at after-hours clubs in Harlem. During this time he continued his musical learning under the guidance of his teacher, Maury Deutsch. The same year, he discovered the method that eventually led to the development of bebop.