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Dizzy Gillespie

Composer

“Men have died for this music. You can't get more serious than that.”

 

Biography

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie (pronounced /ɡɨˈlɛspi/; October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer.

Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, and Jon Faddis.

In addition to featuring in the epochal moments in bebop, he was instrumental in founding Afro-Cuban jazz, the modern jazz version of what early-jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton referred to as the “Spanish Tinge”. Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and gifted improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but adding layers of harmonic complexity previously unknown in jazz. Dizzy’s beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, his scat singing, his bent horn, pouched cheeks and his light-hearted personality were essential in popularizing bebop. —Wikipedia 

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