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The Life of “Bird”: Exploring Charlie Parker

Fall 2021

Mondays 6:30-8:00pm, Sept 27 – Oct 18
Online Class


This four week online interactive workshop explores the life of the legend, Charlie Parker. JazzArts Charlotte is partnering with UNC Charlotte to offer this workshop led by UNCC Professor Kelsey Klotz as part of a full celebration and recognition of Charlie Parker’s Centennial +1, aptly named “Charlie Parker 101”.

Legendary, Grammy winning jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, nicknamed “Bird”, led the development of bebop with his blazing virtuosity and revolutionary ideas. While Charlie Parker is recognized as developing the fast-paced sound of bebop, his love of classical music led to a visionary album of ballads considered the most beautiful jazz recordings of all time. An icon for the hipster subculture, Parker personified the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual rather than just an entertainer. Charlie Parker died at the young age of 35, but his tragically short life was as fast paced as his music.

Technical requirements:

  • Access to reliable wireless internet and computer. Zoom will be the platform used for this course.

Instructor Bio:

Dr. Kelsey Klotz is a lecturer in UNC Charlotte’s Department of Music. In 2016, Dr. Klotz earned her PhD in musicology from Washington University in St. Louis, where she also earned a graduate certificate in American Culture Studies, and was awarded Washington University’s Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Klotz received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, with a piano concentration, from Truman State University.

As an educator, Dr. Klotz teaches critical listening as a method for musical analysis and encountering perspectives different from one’s own. Dr. Klotz is currently working on a book manuscript titled Dave Brubeck and the Performance of Whiteness, which examines white cool jazz pianist Dave Brubeck’s career, music, and reception in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr. Klotz has presented her research at meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Society for American Music, the American Studies Association, the American Studies Association, the Feminist Theory in Music conference, and various regional meetings. In 2016, she received the Charles Seeger Prize for the best student paper at the 2015 national meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Her work has been supported by the Brubeck Travel Grant, the Berger-Carter Jazz Research Grant, and the Dissertation Fellowship from Washington University’s Center for the Humanities.


Registration is open now through September 20.

$100 for the full session (includes $15 non-refundable registration fee)

Payment and Refund Policy

Tuition is due at the time of registration. Full payment may be made by check, money order or credit card. A full refund will be granted up to one week before the first program day – minus a $15.00 registration fee.

Questions? Call the JazzArts Academy at 704-334-3900 or email at

Special Thanks to our program sponsors

Infusion Fund, North Carolina Arts Council, Doris Duke Foundation, Knight Foundation, Charlotte Woman’s Club, and Akers Foundation.


During the 2021-22 academic year, The Department of Music is hosting a year-long celebration of the legendary Charlie Parker. JazzArts Charlotte is thrilled to be a part of this celebration by hosting this workshop and the January JAZZ ROOM performance, just a few of the many programs available. Visit UNC Charlotte’s website to learn more.

charlotte womens club
Akers Foundation Logo

Instructor:  Dr. Kelsey Klotz

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