Right after the death of bebop pioneer Charlie Parker somebody wrote the following text in graffiti on a wall in New York: 'Bird Lives!' Fifty years later, that expression is still applicable: contemporary jazz would've definitely sounded different when Charlie 'Yardbird' Parker had not existed. Every young jazz musician will first have to make himself familiar with the Bird legacy before continuing the development of his own music. While the soloists of the swing era based their improvisations on the melody of a song, Parker more or less composed new melodies on the chords of the existing pieces he played. That's how he transformed How High the Moon into Ornithology and Indiana into Donna Lee. For the greater part, Parker played intuitively, and considering his life style, it is a miracle he has been able to perform that much and make so many records. At a very early age he got hooked on heroine, a 'habit' that he paired with an alcohol addiction. If you realize that he also suffered from gluttony and had a huge sex drive, it's a wonder that the man found the time to make music at all. It therefore wasn't a surprise that Bird's star was completely burned out at the age of 34. The doctor that signed the death certificate in 1955, thought he was dealing with a man in his sixties. Parker thus paid a high price for his art. But it didn't effect his legacy. Especially for the 30th birthday of the North Sea Jazz Festival a Bebop Session will be organized in the Jan Steen Hall featuring the Charlie Parker Legacy Band, in which veterans Ray Drummond and Jimmy Cobb take part. The young generation of alto saxophonists is represented by Jesse Davis, Vincent Herring and Wes Anderson. Special guests are Johnny Griffin, Roy Hargrove, Benny Golson, John Engels, Bolla Gábor and many others. All these fantastic musicians are indebted to Charlie Parker, the visionary whose ideas are still vivid 50 years later.