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Dayton Opera explores the life and legacy of a jazz legend in 'Charlie Parker's Yardbird'

This week, Kathleen Clawson, artistic director for the Dayton Opera, joined WYSO Midday Music host Evan Miller ahead of the opening of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird. Composed by Swiss-American Daniel Schnyder with libretto by Bridgette Wimberly, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird explores the life and legacy of alto saxophone legend Charlie Parker. The work follows Parker’s spirit after his death, as it revisits people and events from his life and seeks to write a final masterpiece. It was commissioned by Opera Philadelphia in 2017.

Tenor Martin Bakari will make his Dayton Opera debut in the starring role of Charlie Parker. Clawson called Bakari’s performance a “tour de force,” noting that the Yellow Springs native remains on stage for the duration of the opera. Charlie Parker’s Yardbird opens this weekend, on October 7th and 9th.

Evan Miller is a percussionist, lover of sound, and is probably buying too many cassette tapes online right now. Evan got his start in radio in 2012 at WWSU at Wright State University, where he was studying percussion performance. He followed through with both endeavors and eventually landed a lucrative dual career playing experimental music at home and abroad, and broadcasting those sounds to unsuspecting listeners Sunday nights on The Outside. Maintaining a connection to normal music, Evan also plays drums in bands around the area, and hosts WYSO's Midday Music show. When not doing something music-related, Evan is most likely listening to podcasts or watching food videos at home with his cat.
Peter Day writes and produces stories for WYSO’s music department. His works include a feature about Dayton's premiere Silent Disco and a profile of British rapper Little Simz. He also assists with station operations and serves as fill-in host for Behind the Groove. Peter began interning at WYSO in 2019 and, in his spare time while earning his anthropology degree, he served as program director for Yale University’s student radio station, WYBC.