Emerson records sleeve of Wilbur Sweatman record. Wikimedia public domain.

February 7, 1882

Wilbur C. Sweatman was born in Brunswick, MO. Sweatman was an African American ragtime and dixieland jazz composer, band leader, and clarinetist. In the late 1890’s, Sweatman became famous for playing three clarinets at once.


March 12, 1955

The life of KC's fabulously talented Charlie "Bird" Parker ended on this day. He was suffering from pneumonia and an ulcer, as well as cirrhosis, and had struggled with declining mental health and an addiction to heroin and alcohol. He was 34 years old. Parker is buried in Lincoln Cemetery near Kansas City.


Neon sign depicting people enjoying jazz music at The Museum at 18th and Vine

September 5, 1997

The American Jazz Museum opened on East 18th Street in Kansas City's hotbed neighborhood for Jazz. They say "Jazz was born in New Orleans but grew up in Kansas City!"


William

August 21, 1904

Birthday of Kansas City's jazz great, William "Count" Basie.