A NEW MARKETING MODEL FOR JAZZ: “95 Musicians for Charlie Parker’s 95th Birthday”

At the end of this post is the latest PR News Release developed by Don Pfannenstiel that culminates our 2015 city-wide Charlie Parker Celebration in Kansas City.  A Google search will provide a snapshot of the significant coverage this collaborative event has received again in only our second year.  

This positively validates my theories and protestations for implementation of a new promotions model for jazz music in general: CROSS-COLLABORATION.


Most jazz entities seem to take the inherent competitiveness of being in business out of context when it comes to promoting jazz at the local level.  The “Kansas City Model” used to promote, what is in essence a substantial Jazz Festival, does not employ that typical approach, and thus is most successful in producing desired results arts businesses and other cultural entities wish to achieve.

  1. Build it coherently and they will come.  The “Kansas City Model” used a catalyst organization made up of people whose interest was simply to bring as many of the stakeholders in the jazz community of our region together. And, each stakeholder entity was deliberately included on a significant level of participation. Most all stakeholder voices were generally heard during the planning and execution phases of the project.
  2. We is better than: ME, ME and more ME. The “Kansas City Model” also proved that most local jazz scenes are large enough to provide equal promotion to all venues and entities with a resultant tangible benefit to all of the stakeholders of the jazz community – directly participating or not. The fact is that there are enough patrons in the market to support all of the jazz that is happening simultaneously, without much detriment to any. In fact, the promotion of “JAZZ” in general helps everyone in our industry.
  3. Coalition Building is essential. The “Kansas City Model” also proves the scarcity mentality that is so seemingly prevalent in the modern jazz industry is just a plain bogus attitude to deploy.  There are indeed an infinite number of pies and not merely just so many pieces in only one pie …

PR: “95 Musicians for Charlie Parker’s 95th Birthday”

The gravesite salute/tribute is a growing event of the 10-day Charlie Parker Celebration, which culminates Saturday. This year the plan was to have 95 musicians for the on-site tribute to the legendary Parker. “95” because Aug. 29 would have been his 95th birthday. At last count nearly 70+ musicians had committed to participate at noon Saturday as part of the ceremonies at Lincoln Cemetery in east KCMO (maps below). It will be be a great visual and will include his daughter, Kim Parker, who is planning to provide a tribute of her own. Besides musicians there could be as many as 250 in attendance.

The tribute is expected to last between 45 minutes to an hour. If you plan to cover the event we urge you arrive around 11:15 to 11:30 (entry directions below). The salute will conclude with the Parker tune: “Now’s the Time.”

The event will also be a starting point for Lost Footage Films, a NY production company, which will be producing a documentary about Parker in the coming months.
Direction for media: Please view the Google Earth map below. Lincoln Cemetery is east of I-435 off Truman Rd. Media should enter from Truman Road onto East 13th Terrace (which is at 8400 E. and just to the south of the cemetery). Take East 13th Terrace and turn left onto the Cemetery Rd which winds up to an oval path. This will be parking available to handicap and media. Earth map: http://tinyurl.com/peq2re5

Mapquest/street map: http://mapq.st/1JytBE2

Please call with any questions.

MEDIA CONTACT: Don Pfannenstiel | Principal – Integrated Marketing & Communications – 913.706-8660



Christopher L. Burnett | Marketing + Communications

American Jazz Museum (816) 421-6121