Kansas City original, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker’s creativity and style of play made him one of the most important jazz innovators of the 20th century. Charlie Parker’s play displayed a sense of energy, creativity, freedom and daring that wasn’t there before. During his time in NYC, Parker became an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual rather than just an entertainer. In finding his own musical voice, Charlie Parker developed a style of improvisation that later came to be known as Bebop. Soon adopted by many other jazz musicians, the Bebop style of play became the mainstream jazz idiom of the 1950s and 60s.