Dizzy Gillespie

Moore Academic Hall, Laurinburg Institute, Laurinburg, N.C.

1942_Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

1946_ Dizzy with his wife in New York in May of 1946. They are located on the corner of West 52nd Street and Avenue Of The Americas.

1947_"Well, be-bop!," Down Beat, v. 14, no. 11 (May 21, 1947), p. 15. Photo by William Gottlieb

1947_Ella Fitzgerald performing as Dizzy Gillespie looks on. Photos by William Gottlieb

1947_Ella Fitzgerald performing as Dizzy Gillespie looks on. Photos by William Gottlieb

1947_Charlie Parker and Red Rodney with Dizzy Gillespie. Margie Hyams and Chuck Wayne are in the mirrors reflection at the Downbeat Club in New York. Photos by William Gottlieb

1948_Singer Mel Torme and model, June Bright laughing while sitting at the table in a Hollywood nightclub listening to Dizzy Gillespie perform.

1948_Dizzy Gillespie performs at the Royal-Roost in NYC. Photo by Leonard-Herman

1952_Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis performing together.

1953_Dizzy Gillespie and band on stage.

1953_Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Oscar Peterson (piano), Herb Ellis (guitar), Ray Brown (bass), and other musicians in concert.

1953_Dizzy Gillespie and band on stage.

1954_Dizzy Gillespie with audience.

1955_Dizzy Gillespie playing horn.

1956_Dizzy Gillespie promo photo.

1958_Dizzy Gillespie kisses the hand of Louis Armstrong at the Monterey Film Festival.

1958_Dizzy Gillespie at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Photo by Arthur Mcewen

1960_Dizzie Gillespie playing trumpet on the French Riviera. Photo courtesy of Rolex

1961_Dizzy Gillespie. Photo by Ted Williams Courtesy of Rolex

1961_Dizzy Gillespie. Photo by Ted Williams Courtesy of Rolex

1961_Dizzy Gillespie. Photo by Ted Williams Courtesy of Rolex

1963_Theolonius Monk with Dizzie Gillespie at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

1964_Dizzie-Gillespie. Photo courtesy of Rolex

1965_Dizzy Gillespie performing live.

1967_Dizzy for President.

1976_Carman McRae with Dizzy Gillespie.

1977_Dizzy Gillespie talks to fans in the hotel lobby in Buffalo, NY.

1980_Dizzy Gillespie on the Muppet Show.

1984_Dizzy Gillespie on the Cosby Show episode "Play It Again, Vanessa"

1989_Dizzy Gillespie with First Lady and President Bush on November 17, 1989, at a White House ceremony where Dizzy received the National Medal Of Honor.

1989_Performing live.

1990_Dizzy Gillespie. Photo by Yousuf Karsh

1991_Dizzy Gillespie NSJ the Hague. Photo by Max Kloosterman

1993_Dizzy Gillespie dies January 6, 1993 (aged 75) in Englewood, New Jersey.

1946_Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra

1947_JIVIN' IN BE-BOP movie poster with Dizzy Gillespie.

1952_at Carnegie Hall.

1952_at Carnegie Hall.

1955_Dizzy Gillespie at the Philharmonic.

1957_Dizzy Gillespie at Carnegie Hall.

1957_Jazz at the Philharmonic with Dizzy Gillespie.

1957_Dizzy Gillespie at the San Jose Civic Auditorium.

1960_Dizzy Gillespie at Town Hall.

1963_Newport Concert Poster.

1964_Dizzy Gillespie at the Penthouse.

1965_Newport Jazz Festival poster.

1968_Jazz at Laurel.

1969_Paris Jazz Festival poster.

1947_Dizzy Gillespie And His All-Stars front cover

1947_Dizzy Gillespie And His All-Stars rear cover

1947_Dizzy Gillespie And His All-Stars side 01

1947_Dizzy Gillespie And His All-Stars side 02

1947_Dizzy Gillespie And His All-Stars side 03

1947_Dizzy Gillespie And His All-Stars side 04

1947_Dizzy Gillespie And His All-Stars side 05

1947_Dizzy Gillespie And His All-Stars side 06

1947_Dizzy Gillespie And His All-Stars side 07

1947_Dizzy Gillespie And His All-Stars side 08

1948_Gene Norman Presents Dizzy Gillespie in Concert front cover

1948_Gene Norman Presents Dizzy Gillespie in Concert rear cover

1948_Gene Norman Presents Dizzy Gillespie in Concert side 01

1948_Gene Norman Presents Dizzy Gillespie in Concert side 02

1950_Bird and Diz front cover

1950_Bird and Diz rear cover

1950_Bird and Diz side 01

1950_Bird and Diz side 02

1951–52_Dee Gee Days_The Savoy Sessions compilation album front cover.

1951–52_Dee Gee Days_The Savoy Sessions compilation album rear cover.

1951–52_Dee Gee Days_The Savoy Sessions compilation album side 01.

1951–52_Dee Gee Days_The Savoy Sessions compilation album side 02.

1952–53_The Great Blue Star Sessions 1952-1953 compilation album front cover.

1952–53_The Great Blue Star Sessions 1952-1953 compilation album rear cover.

1952_Horn A Plenty front cover.

1952_Horn A Plenty rear cover.

1952_Horn A Plenty side 01.

1952_Horn A Plenty side 02.

1953_Dizzy Digs Paris front cover.

1953_Dizzy Digs Paris rear cover.

1953_Dizzy Digs Paris side 01.

1953_Dizzy Digs Paris side 02.

1953_Jazz at Massey Hall front cover.

1953_Jazz at Massey Hall rear cover.

1953_Jazz at Massey Hall side 01.

1953_Jazz at Massey Hall side 02.

1953_Diz and Getz front cover.

1953_Diz and Getz rear cover.

1953_Diz and Getz side 01.

1953_Diz and Getz side 02.

1954_Afro front cover.

1954_Afro rear cover.

1954_Afro side 01.

1954_Afro side 02.

1954_Dizzy and Strings front cover.

1954_Dizzy and Strings rear cover.

1954_Dizzy and Strings side 01.

1954_Dizzy and Strings side 02.

1954_Roy and Diz front cover.

1954_Roy and Diz rear cover.

1954_Roy and Diz side 01.

1954_Roy and Diz side 02.

1954_Roy and Diz #2 front cover.

1954_Roy and Diz #2 rear cover.

1954_Roy and Diz #2 side 01.

1954_Roy and Diz #2 side 02.

1954–1964_The Verve_Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions front cover.

1954–1964_The Verve_Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions inside 01.

1954–1964_The Verve_Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions inside 02.

1954–1964_The Verve_Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions inside 03.

1954–1964_The Verve_Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions inside 04.

1954–1964_The Verve_Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions inside 05.

1954–1964_The Verve_Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions package overview.

1954–1964_The Verve_Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions rear cover left.

1954–1964_The Verve_Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions rear cover right.

1954–55_Jazz Recital front cover.

1954–55_Jazz Recital rear cover.

1954–55_Jazz Recital side 01.

1954–55_Jazz Recital side 02.

1956_Modern Jazz Sextet front cover.

1956_Modern Jazz Sextet rear cover.

1956_Modern Jazz Sextet side 01.

1956_Modern Jazz Sextet side 02.

1956_World Statesman front cover.

1956_World Statesman rear cover.

1956_World Statesman side 01.

1956_World Statesman side 02.

1956 and 1957_Dizzy in Greece front cover.

1956 and 1957_Dizzy in Greece rear cover.

1956 and 1957_Dizzy in Greece side 01.

1956 and 1957_Dizzy in Greece side 02.

1956_For Musicians Only front cover.

1956_For Musicians Only rear cover.

1956_For Musicians Only side 01.

1956_For Musicians Only side 02.

1957_Birks' Works front cover.

1957_Birks' Works rear cover.

1957_Birks' Works side 01.

1957_Birks' Works side 02.

1957_Dizzy Gillespie and Stuff Smith front cover.

1957_Dizzy Gillespie and Stuff Smith rear cover.

1957_Dizzy Gillespie and Stuff Smith side 01.

1957_Dizzy Gillespie and Stuff Smith side 02.

1957_Sittin' In front cover.

1957_Sittin' In rear cover.

1957_Sittin' In side 01.

1957_Sittin' In side 02.

1957_Dizzy Gillespie at Newport front cover.

1957_Dizzy Gillespie at Newport rear cover.

1957_Dizzy Gillespie at Newport side 01.

1957_Dizzy Gillespie at Newport side 02.

1957_Duets front cover.

1957_Duets rear cover.

1957_Duets side 01.

1957_Duets side 02.

1957_The Greatest Trumpet of Them All front cover.

1957_The Greatest Trumpet of Them All rear cover.

1957_The Greatest Trumpet of Them All side 01.

1957_The Greatest Trumpet of Them All side 02.

1957_Sonny Side Up front cover.

1957_Sonny Side Up rear cover.

1957_Sonny Side Up side 01.

1957_Sonny Side Up side 02.

1959_The Ebullient Mr. Gillespie front cover.

1959_The Ebullient Mr. Gillespie rear cover.

1959_The Ebullient Mr. Gillespie side 01.

1959_The Ebullient Mr. Gillespie side 02.

1959_Have Trumpet, Will Excite! front cover.

1959_Have Trumpet, Will Excite! rear cover.

1959_Have Trumpet, Will Excite! side 01.

1959_Have Trumpet, Will Excite! side 02.

1960_The Copenhagen Concert front cover.

1960_The Copenhagen Concert rear cover.

1960_A Portrait of Duke Ellington front cover.

1960_A Portrait of Duke Ellington rear cover.

1960_A Portrait of Duke Ellington side 01.

1960_A Portrait of Duke Ellington side 02.

1960_Gillespiana front cover.

1960_Gillespiana rear cover.

1960_Gillespiana side 01.

1960_Gillespiana side 02.

1961_An Electrifying Evening with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet front cover.

1961_An Electrifying Evening with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet rear cover.

1961_An Electrifying Evening with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet side 01.

1961_An Electrifying Evening with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet side 02.

1961_Carnegie Hall Concert front cover.

1961_Carnegie Hall Concert rear cover.

1961_Carnegie Hall Concert side 01.

1961_Carnegie Hall Concert side 02.

1961_Perceptions front cover.

1961_Perceptions rear cover.

1961_Perceptions side 01.

1961_Perceptions side 02.

1962_Dizzy on the French Riviera front cover.

1962_Dizzy on the French Riviera rear cover.

1962_Dizzy on the French Riviera side 01.

1962_Dizzy on the French Riviera side 02.

1962_The New Continent front cover.

1962_The New Continent page 01.

1962_The New Continent page 02.

1962_The New Continent page 03.

1962_The New Continent page 04.

1962_The New Continent page 05.

1962_The New Continent page 06.

1962_The New Continent package overview.

1962_The New Continent rear cover.

1962_The New Continent side 01.

1962_The New Continent side 02.

1963_New Wave front cover.

1963_New Wave rear cover.

1963_New Wave side 01.

1963_New Wave side 02.

1963_Something Old, Something New front cover.

1963_Something Old, Something New rear cover.

1963_Dizzy Gillespie and the Double Six of Paris front cover.

1963_Dizzy Gillespie and the Double Six of Paris rear cover.

1963_Dizzy Gillespie and the Double Six of Paris side 01.

1963_Dizzy Gillespie and the Double Six of Paris side 02.

1964_Dizzy Goes Hollywood front cover.

1964_Dizzy Goes Hollywood rear cover.

1964_Dizzy Goes Hollywood side 01.

1964_Dizzy Goes Hollywood side 02.

1964_The Cool World front cover.

1964_The Cool World rear cover.

1964_The Cool World side 01.

1964_The Cool World side 02.

1964_Jambo Caribe front cover.

1964_Jambo Caribe inside left.

1964_Jambo Caribe inside right.

1964_Jambo Caribe page 01.

1964_Jambo Caribe page 02.

1964_Jambo Caribe page 03.

1964_Jambo Caribe page 04.

1964_Jambo Caribe side 01.

1964_Jambo Caribe side 02.

1964_Jambo Caribe rear cover.

1964_I/We Had a Ball front cover.

1964_I/We Had a Ball inside foldout.

1965_Gil Fuller & the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra featuring Dizzy Gillespie front cover.

1965_Gil Fuller & the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra featuring Dizzy Gillespie rear cover.

1965_Gil Fuller & the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra featuring Dizzy Gillespie side 01.

1965_Gil Fuller & the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra featuring Dizzy Gillespie side 02.

1966_The Melody Lingers On front cover.

1966_The Melody Lingers On rear cover.

1966_The Melody Lingers On side 01.

1966_The Melody Lingers On side 02.

1967_Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac front cover.

1967_Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac inside left.

1967_Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac inside right.

1967_Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac side 01.

1967_Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac side 02.

1967_Live at the Village Vanguard front cover.

1967_Live at the Village Vanguard inside left.

1967_Live at the Village Vanguard inside right.

1967_Live at the Village Vanguard rear cover.

1967_Live at the Village Vanguard side 01.

1967_Live at the Village Vanguard side 02.

1968_The Dizzy Gillespie Reunion Big Band front cover.

1968_The Dizzy Gillespie Reunion Big Band rear cover.

1968_The Dizzy Gillespie Reunion Big Band side 01.

1968_The Dizzy Gillespie Reunion Big Band side 02.

1969_It's My Way front cover.

1969_It's My Way rear cover.

1969_It's My Way side 01.

1969_It's My Way side 02.

1969_Cornucopia front cover.

1969_Cornucopia rear cover.

1969_Cornucopia side 01.

1969_Cornucopia side 02.

1970_The Real Thing front cover.

1970_The Real Thing rear cover.

1970_The Real Thing side 01.

1970_The Real Thing side 02.

1970_Portrait of Jenny front cover.

1970_Portrait of Jenny rear cover.

1970_Portrait of Jenny side 01.

1970_Portrait of Jenny side 02.

1971_Giants front cover.

1971_Giants rear cover.

1971_Giants side 01.

1971_Giants side 02.

1971_Dizzy Gillespie and the Mitchell Ruff Duo in Concert front cover.

1971_Dizzy Gillespie and the Mitchell Ruff Duo in Concert rear cover.

1971_Dizzy Gillespie and the Mitchell Ruff Duo in Concert side 01.

1971_Dizzy Gillespie and the Mitchell Ruff Duo in Concert side 02.

1971_The Giants of Jazz front cover.

1971_The Giants of Jazz rear cover.

1971_The Giants of Jazz side 01.

1971_The Giants of Jazz side 02.

1971_The Giants of Jazz side 03.

1971_The Giants of Jazz side 04.

1973_The Giant front cover.

1973_The Giant inside left.

1973_The Giant inside right.

1973_The Giant rear cover.

1973_The Giant side 01.

1973_The Giant side 02.

1973_The Source front cover.

1973_The Source inside left.

1973_The Source inside right.

1973_The Source rear cover.

1973_The Source side 01.

1973_The Source side 02.

1974_Dizzy Gillespie's Big 4 front cover.

1974_Dizzy Gillespie's Big 4 rear cover.

1974_Dizzy Gillespie's Big 4 side 01.

1974_Dizzy Gillespie's Big 4 side 02.

1974_The Trumpet Kings Meet Joe Turner front cover.

1974_The Trumpet Kings Meet Joe Turner rear cover.

1974_The Trumpet Kings Meet Joe Turner side 01.

1974_The Trumpet Kings Meet Joe Turner side 02.

1974_Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie front cover.

1974_Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie rear cover.

1974_Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie side 01.

1974_Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie side 02.

1974_Oscar Peterson and The Trumpet Kings - Jousts front cover.

1974_Oscar Peterson and The Trumpet Kings - Jousts rear cover.

1974_Oscar Peterson and The Trumpet Kings - Jousts side 01.

1974_Oscar Peterson and The Trumpet Kings - Jousts side 02.

1975_The Bop Session front cover.

1975_The Bop Session inside left.

1975_The Bop Session inside right.

1975_The Bop Session rear cover.

1975_The Bop Session side 01.

1975_The Bop Session side 02.

1975_Jazz Maturity...Where It's Coming From front cover.

1975_Jazz Maturity...Where It's Coming From rear cover.

1975_Jazz Maturity...Where It's Coming From side 01.

1975_Jazz Maturity...Where It's Coming From side 02.

1975_Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods front cover.

1975_Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods rear cover.

1975_Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods side 01.

1975_Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods side 02.

1975_The Dizzy Gillespie Big 7 front cover.

1975_The Dizzy Gillespie Big 7 inside left.

1975_The Dizzy Gillespie Big 7 inside right.

1975_The Dizzy Gillespie Big 7 rear cover.

1975_The Dizzy Gillespie Big 7 side 01.

1975_The Dizzy Gillespie Big 7 side 02.

1975_The Trumpet Kings at Montreux '75 front cover.

1975_The Trumpet Kings at Montreux '75 rear cover.

1975_Bahiana front cover.

1975_Bahiana inside left.

1975_Bahiana inside right.

1975_Bahiana rear cover.

1975_Bahiana side 01.

1975_Bahiana side 02.

1975_Bahiana side 03.

1975_Bahiana side 04.

1976_Carter, Gillespie Inc. front cover.

1976_Carter, Gillespie Inc. rear cover.

1976_Carter, Gillespie Inc. side 01.

1976_Carter, Gillespie Inc. side 02.

1976_Dizzy's Party front cover.

1976_Dizzy's Party rear cover.

1976_Dizzy's Party side 01.

1976_Dizzy's Party side 02.

1977_Free Ride front cover.

1977_Free Ride rear cover.

1977_Free Ride side 01.

1977_Free Ride side 02.

1977_The Gifted Ones front cover.

1977_The Gifted Ones inside left.

1977_The Gifted Ones inside right.

1977_The Gifted Ones rear cover.

1977_The Gifted Ones side 01.

1977_The Gifted Ones side 02.

1977_Dizzy Gillespie Jam front cover.

1977_Dizzy Gillespie Jam rear cover.

1977_Dizzy Gillespie Jam side 01.

1977_Dizzy Gillespie Jam side 02.

1980_The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big 4 front cover.

1980_The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big 4 inside left.

1980_The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big 4 inside right.

1980_The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big 4 rear cover.

1980_The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big 4 side 01.

1980_The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big 4 side 02.

1980_The Alternate Blues front cover.

1980_The Alternate Blues rear cover.

1980_The Alternate Blues side 01.

1980_The Alternate Blues side 02.

1980_Digital at Montreux, 1980 front cover.

1980_Digital at Montreux, 1980 rear cover.

1980_Digital at Montreux, 1980 side 01.

1980_Digital at Montreux, 1980 side 02.

1981_Musician, Composer, Raconteur front cover.

1981_Musician, Composer, Raconteur inside left.

1981_Musician, Composer, Raconteur inside right.

1981_Musician, Composer, Raconteur rear cover.

1981_Musician, Composer, Raconteur side 01.

1981_Musician, Composer, Raconteur side 02.

1981_Musician, Composer, Raconteur side 03.

1981_Musician, Composer, Raconteur side 04.

1981_To a Finland Station front cover.

1981_To a Finland Station rear cover.

1981_To a Finland Station side 01.

1981_To a Finland Station side 02.

1983_One Night in Washington front cover.

1983_One Night in Washington rear cover.

1983_One Night in Washington side 01.

1983_One Night in Washington side 02.

1984_Closer to the Source front cover.

1984_Closer to the Source rear cover.

1984_Closer to the Source side 01.

1984_Closer to the Source side 02.

1985_New Faces front cover.

1985_New Faces inside cover.

1985_New Faces caddy rear.

1985_New Faces CD face.

1986_Dizzy Gillespie Meets Phil Woods Quintet front cover.

1986_Dizzy Gillespie Meets Phil Woods Quintet rear cover.

1986_Dizzy Gillespie Meets Phil Woods Quintet side 01.

1986_Dizzy Gillespie Meets Phil Woods Quintet side 02.

1988_Endlessly front cover.

1988_Endlessly rear cover.

1988_Endlessly side 01.

1988_Endlessly side 02.

1988_Oop Pop A Da front cover.

1988_Oop Pop A Da rear cover.

1988_Oop Pop A Da side 01.

1988_Oop Pop A Da side 02.

1989_Live at the Royal Festival Hall front cover.

1989_Live at the Royal Festival Hall caddy rear.

1989_Live at the Royal Festival Hall CD face.

1989_Max + Dizzy: Paris 1989 front cover.

1989_Max + Dizzy: Paris 1989 inside cover.

1989_Max + Dizzy: Paris 1989 caddy rear.

1989_Max + Dizzy: Paris 1989 CD face 01.

1989_Max + Dizzy: Paris 1989 CD face 02.

1989_The Paris All Stars Homage to Charlie Parker front cover.

1989_The Paris All Stars Homage to Charlie Parker inside 01.

1989_The Paris All Stars Homage to Charlie Parker inside 02.

1989_The Paris All Stars Homage to Charlie Parker inside 03.

1989_The Paris All Stars Homage to Charlie Parker inside 04.

1989_The Paris All Stars Homage to Charlie Parker inside 05.

1989_The Paris All Stars Homage to Charlie Parker caddy rear.

1989_The Paris All Stars Homage to Charlie Parker CD face.

1989_The Symphony Sessions front cover.

1989_The Symphony Sessions inside cover.

1989_The Symphony Sessions caddy rear.

1989_The Symphony Sessions CD face.

1990_The Winter in Lisbon front cover.

1990_The Winter in Lisbon inside 01.

1990_The Winter in Lisbon inside 02.

1990_The Winter in Lisbon inside 03.

1990_The Winter in Lisbon inside 04.

1990_The Winter in Lisbon inside 05.

1990_The Winter in Lisbon inside 06.

1990_The Winter in Lisbon inside 07.

1990_The Winter in Lisbon caddy rear.

1990_The Winter in Lisbon CD face.

1991_Dizzy Gillespie ‎– Live! At Blues Alley front cover.

1991_Dizzy Gillespie ‎– Live! At Blues Alley rear cover.

1992_Bird Songs: The Final Recordings front cover.

1992_Bird Songs: The Final Recordings rear cover.

1992_Bird Songs: The Final Recordings CD face.

1992_To Bird with Love front cover.

1992_To Bird with Love inside 01.

1992_To Bird with Love inside 02.

1992_To Bird with Love caddy rear.

1992_To Bird with Love CD face.

1992_To Diz with Love front cover.

1992_To Diz with Love caddy rear.

1992_To Diz with Love CD face.

1954–1964_The Verve/Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions front cover.

1954–1964_The Verve/Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions rear cover.

1954–1964_The Verve/Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions inside 01.

1954–1964_The Verve/Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions inside 02.

1954–1964_The Verve/Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions package overview.

What can you say about Dizzy Gillespie that has not been said before. I can only give you my take and simply put he was an incredible musician of unmatched vision. I’m a blues player myself and Jazz alludes me a bit, I think it’s the timing and the interjected spontaneity – give me 4/4 and Big Joe Turner and I’m out!

 

Artists like Dizzy Gillespie not only bring amazing talent to the table but they take it up several notches and set new standards worldwide that only a few dare ever reach for. South Carolina should be very proud of the musicians and music we have produced as a state, by proxy we are all a part of something magnificent and truly unique!

From blackpast.org

Contributed by Catherine Foster

 

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie had a long and distinguished musical career as a trumpeter, composer, and bandleader. Unlike many jazz musicians whose lives were cut tragically short, Gillespie’s career spanned the 1930s to the 1980s, from the big band swing era of the 1930s, through 1940s bebop, the Afro-Cuban jazz of the 1950s, to the recording in 1989 – when he was 72 – of his United Nations Band performance “Live at Royal Festival Hall.” He is one of the most influential musicians in the history of jazz, is considered one of the founders of modern jazz, and with Charlie Parker is credited with the invention of bebop.

 

Gillespie was born in 1917 in CherawSouth Carolina, the youngest of nine children to James and Lottie Gillespie.  Son of a bricklayer father who was a part-time musician, he began playing the piano at age four. In 1932 he won a scholarship to North Carolina’s Laurinburg Institute, where he practiced the trumpet and piano. He left school in 1935, joining his family who had moved to Philadelphia. In 1937, after moving to New York, he made his first recording by age 20, playing trumpet in the Teddy Hill Band, and toured in Great Britain and France. He joined the Cab Calloway Orchestra in 1939, but was fired in 1941 after an altercation with Calloway. He also played with the big bands of Fletcher HendersonEarl Hines, and Duke Ellington, and became the musical director of Billy Eckstine’s band in 1944.  Gillespie married his wife Lorraine in 1940.  The union lasted until his death.

 

Gillespie and Charlie Parker (on saxophone) started playing together in the 1940s in New York clubs, developing a fast, complex, and improvisational style that came to be known as bebop. He was one of a group of musicians including Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clark, and Bud Powell, who would gather at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, New York City. With Parker, Gillespie recorded many bebop classics such as “A Night in Tunisia,” “Hot House,” and “Salt Peanuts.” Gillespie and Parker were both in the famous recorded 1954 concert “Jazz at Massey Hall,” with Bud PowellCharles Mingus, and Max Roach.

 

By the late 1940s, Gillespie had begun leading a band that combined bebop with Latin elements; he was the first jazz musician to give a major role in his music to an Afro-Cuban sound, and fuse Brazilian and other Caribbean as well as Afro-Cuban influences with jazz. In this genre, “Tin Tin Deo” and “Manteca” are notable. In his later years, he became an American Ambassador of Music, leading State Department-sponsored tours to Latin America and the Middle East, even playing with a snake charmer in Pakistan. He appeared in the sextet Giants of Jazz in 1971-2, an all-star band which included Thelonious Monk and Art Blakey.

 

Dizzy Gillespie was the quintessential “hip” bebop musician, with his dark glasses, black beret, and goatee. He also was noted for his distinctive trumpet, with the bell turned upwards. In 1953 his trumpet became accidentally bent when someone fell on it; he liked the sound, and afterwards continued to play with a bent-up instrument, which became his visual trademark. His autobiography To Be or Not to Bop: Memoirs of Dizzy Gillespie was published in 1979. After a long, successful, and influential musical career, “Dizzy” died in EnglewoodNew Jersey on January 6, 1993. He is survived by a daughter, jazz singer Jeanie Bryson, and two grandchildren.

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