Past Event

Bird of a Nation: Charlie Parker and Clint Eastwood’s Biopic, Guests Jimmy Heath And Robert O’Meally

Clint Eastwood had the best of intentions when he created his Charlie Parker biopic Bird in 1988. Nonetheless, it perpetuated many of the myths that still dog Jazz and its musicians. Parker is reduced to a fun-loving, headed for self-destruction manchild, totally devoid of the intelligence and maturity of the real Parker.

Krin Gabbard, professor of Comparative Literature at SUNY Stony Book, and author of Jammin' At The Margins, a groundbreaking study of jazz and film, led a panel as they and the audience reacted to segments of the Eastwood film. We were especially honored to have the legendary saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Jimmy Heath participating. Heath, who knew and played with Charlie Parker, made this truly a historic evening.


Jimmy Heath: Jazz saxophonist, composer, and bandleader.
Robert O'Meally: English and Comparative Literature Professor at Columbia University.
Loren Schoenberg: Artistic Director of NJMIH.
Krin Gabbard: Comparative Literature Professor at  SUNY Stony Brook.