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Dizzy Gillespie

John Birks Gillespie

Trumpeter, Bandleader, Composer, Arranger, Conga Player, Cultural Ambassador

(1917 - 1993)

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Dizzy Gillespie was a giant in the jazz world--a virtuoso player, composer, arranger, innovator of bebop, and forerunner of Afro-Cuban music. While he received musical training as a child, he taught himself to play trumpet. In 1935 he joined a Philadelphia band where he picked up the “Dizzy” moniker for his onstage antics.

Gillespie made his first recording with the Teddy Hill Band in 1937, “King Porter Stomp.” He joined Cab Calloway’s band in 1939 and began to veer away from the traditional trumpet style that he had picked up from Louis Armstrong, Charlie Shavers, and Roy Eldridge. There he also met trumpeter Mario Bauza who piqued his interest in Afro-Cuban music. By 1940 Gillespie was participating in after-hours sessions with other musicians--Charlie Parker, Kenny Clarke, and Bud Powell--whose experimentation would spark the bop revolution. After leaving Calloway he joined Earl Hines’ band (which included Parker) and wrote “Interlude” which would become “Night in Tunisia.”

The musical direction of Gillespie and Parker would not gain public acceptance for several years. You couldn’t dance to it-- anathema for the swing generation. In 1946 Dizzy formed an all-star band that included Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo. In collaboration with Walter Fuller they wrote the fiery “Manteca.”

In 1953 someone fell on Gillespie’s trumpet and bent the bell at a 45-degree angle. He liked playing it that way and had instruments specially made for him. In 1956 he toured the world as leader of a State Department-sponsored big band, and in the late ‘80s he led the United Nations Orchestra until he retired in 1992. Other of his compositions firmly established in the jazz repertoire are “Groovin’ High,” “Birks Works,” “Con Alma,” “Anthropology” with Walter Bishop Jr. and Charlie Parker, and “Salt Peanuts.”

- Sandra Burlingame


A Night in Tunisia

Art Blakey



Night in Tunisia

Dizzy Gillespie



Manteca

Red Garland



Groovin' High

Dizzy Gillespie



Con Alma

Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody



Salt Peanuts

Bud Powell



Birks Works: The Verve Big Band Sessions

Dizzy Gillespie



Jazz at Massey Hall

Quintet, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Max Roach



Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945

Dizzy Gillespie;Charlie Parker



Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie: Hot House

Charlie Parker



Diz N Bird at Carnegie Hall

Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie



Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie: Hot House

Charlie Parker
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price


Dizzy Gillespie, United Nations Orchestra

Dizzy Gillespie - Live at the Royal Festival Hall, London (1989)

Eagle Rock Ent

DVD


Alyn Shipton

Groovin' High: The Life of Dizzy Gillespie

Oxford University Press


Dizzy Gillespie

To Be or Not to Bop

Doubleday


Donald L. Maggin

Dizzy: The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie

HarperEntertainment


Gene Lees

You Can't Steal a Gift: Dizzy, Clark, Milt, and Nat

Yale University Press


Dizzy Gillespie

The Dizzy Gillespie Collection: Trumpet (Artist Transcriptions)

Hal Leonard Corporation


Dizzy Gillespie

Vol. 9 - Dizzy Gillespie: Jazz Play Along Series (Jazz Play Along)

Hal Leonard Corporation


Various

DownBeat - The Great Jazz Interviews (A 75th Anniversary Anthology) (Book)

Hal Leonard


Various

Down Beat: Sixty Years of Jazz

Hal Leonard Corporation


Wynton Marsalis, Geoffrey Ward

Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life

Random House Trade Paperbacks


Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns

Jazz: A History of America's Music

Knopf


Jonah Winter

Dizzy

Arthur A. Levine Books


Scott Yanow

Bebop : Third Ear - The Essential Listening Companion

Miller Freeman Books


Dizzy Gillespie, United Nations Orchestra

Dizzy Gillespie - Live at the Royal Festival Hall, London (1989)

Eagle Rock Ent

DVD


Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie - Live in Montreal (Montreal Jazz Festival) (1981)

DVD


Swing Era - Dizzy Gillespie - Jivin' in Be-Bop

DVD


Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, John Lewis, Milt Jackson

Dizzy's Dream Band

Fox Lorber

DVD


Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie: A Night in Chicago

DVD


Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Hinton, Marian McPartland, Art Blakey, Gerry Mulligan

A Great Day in Harlem

Homevision

DVD


Dizzy Gillespie, Arturo Sandoval

A Night in Havana - Dizzy Gillespie in Cuba

New Video Group

DVD


Jazz Icons: Dizzy Gillespie Live in ‘58 and ‘70

Tdk DVD Video

DVD


Louis Armstrong, Roy Haynes, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk

Masters of American Music: Celebrating Bird - The Triumph of Charlie Parker

Euroarts

DVD


Dizzy Gillespie

A Night in Tunisia

View Video

VHS


Dizzy Gillespie

Jazz in America:Dizzy Gillespie

Nelson Entertainment

VHS


Maureen Stapleton, Hans Koller, Dizzy Gillespie

Voyage to Next

Lightyear Video

VHS

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