Testimony: A Tribute to Charlie Parker

Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker in his short lifetime revolutionised jazz improvisation, changing the face of jazz forever and shaping the course of 20th century music. Pulitzer prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa’s epic poem Testimony provides the libretto for this stunning musical work paying homage to this jazz great.

In 1995 ABC producer Christopher Williams envisioned a piece for radio with jazz as its central theme. He joined the creative forces of Evans and Komunyakaa.. In 1999 Testimony was broadcast on ABC’s Soundscapes. The result is remarkably rich and evocative, encompassing a wide range of musical styles and performers – a moving testimony to Parker’s genius .The original ABC recording features many legendary Australian jazz musicians and is included in this book published by Wesleyan University Press in 2013.

Sandy Evans and Yusef Kumunyakaa

"… a composition of immense depth, humanity and expression.”


Yusef Komunyakaa poetry
Sandy Evans leader, composer, musical director, tenor saxophone, flute
Michael Edward Stevens spoken word
Kristen Cornwell vocals
Kate Swadling vocals
Kurt Elling vocals
Jackie Orszaczky vocals
Toni Allayialis vocals
Tanya Sparke vocals
Pamela Knowles vocals
Tina Harrod vocals
Joe Lane vocals
Michelle Morgan vocals
Lily Dior vocals
John Rodgers violin
Bernie McGann alto saxophone
Paul Cutlan bass clarinet, alto saxophone
Casey Greene baritone saxophone, flute
Warwick Alder trumpet
Bob Coassin trumpet
James Greening trombone
Jeremy Sawkins guitar
Dave Brewer guitar
Laurence Hobgood piano
Chuck Yates piano
Alister Spence piano and keyboards
Lloyd Swanton bass
Steve Elphick bass
Jonathan Zwartz bass
Jackie Orszaczky piccolo bass
Hamish Stuart drums and percussion
Fabian Hevia drums and percussion
Allan Turnbull drums
Simon Barker drums