HOME
        TheInfoList






John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (/ɡɪˈlɛspi/; October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator and singer.[2] He was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge[3] but adding layers of harmonic and rhythmic complexity previously unheard in jazz. His combination of musicianship, showmanship, and wit made him a leading popularizer of the new music called bebop. His beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, his scat singing, his bent horn, pouched cheeks, and his light-hearted personality provided some of bebop's most prominent symbols.[2]

In the 1940s Gillespie, with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz.[4] He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan,[5] Chuck Mangione,[6] and balladeer Johnny Hartman.[7]

Scott Yanow wrote, "Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up being similar to those of Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis's emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated [....] Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time".[8]

Bent trumpetGillespie's trademark trumpet featured a bell which bent upward at a 45-degree angle rather than pointing straight ahead as in the conventional design. According to Gillespie's autobiography, this was originally the result of accidental damage caused by the dancers Stump and Stumpy falling onto the instrument while it was on a trumpet stand on stage at Snookie's in Manhattan on January 6, 1953, during a birthday party for Gillespie's wife Lorraine.[63] The constriction caused by the bending altered the tone of the instrument, and Gillespie liked the effect. He had the trumpet straightened out the next day, but he could not forget the tone. Gillespie sent a request to Martin to make him a "bent" trumpet from a sketch produced by Lorraine, and from that time forward played a trumpet with an upturned bell.[64]

By June 1954 he was using a professionally manufactured horn of this design, and it was to become a trademark for the rest of his life.[52]:258–259 Such trumpets were made for him by Martin (from 1954), King Musical Instruments (from 1972) and Renold Schilke (from 1982, a gift from Jon Faddis).[64] Gillespie favored mouthpieces made by Al Cass. In December 1986 Gillespie gave the National Museum of American History his 1972 King "Silver Flair" trumpet with a Cass mouthpiece.[52]:258–259 Such trumpets were made for him by Martin (from 1954), King Musical Instruments (from 1972) and Renold Schilke (from 1982, a gift from Jon Faddis).[64] Gillespie favored mouthpieces made by Al Cass. In December 1986 Gillespie gave the National Museum of American History his 1972 King "Silver Flair" trumpet with a Cass mouthpiece.[64][65]

In April 1995, Gillespie's Martin trumpet was auctioned at Christie's in New York City with instruments used by Coleman Hawkins, Jimi Hendrix, and Elvis Presley.[66] An image of Gillespie's trumpet was selected for the cover of the auction program. The battered instrument was sold to Manhattan builder Jeffery Brown for $63,000, the proceeds benefiting jazz musicians with cancer.[67][68][69]

In 1989, Gillespie was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. The next year, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ceremonies celebrating the centennial of American jazz, Gillespie received the Kennedy Center Honors Award and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Duke Ellington Award for 50 years of achievement as a composer, performer, and bandleader.[70][71]

In 1989, Gillespie was awarded with an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music.[72]

In 1993 he received the Polar Music Prize in Sweden.[73] In 2002, he was posthumously inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame for his contributions to Afro-Cuban music.[74] He was honored on December 31, 2006 in A Jazz New Year's Eve: Freddy Cole & the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.[75] In 2014, Gillespie was inducted into the Berklee College of Music.[72]

In 1993 he received the Polar Music Prize in Sweden.[73] In 2002, he was posthumously inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame for his contributions to Afro-Cuban music.[74] He was honored on December 31, 2006 in A Jazz New Year's Eve: Freddy Cole & the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.[75] In 2014, Gillespie was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.[76]

Samuel E. Wright played Dizzy Gillespie in the film Bird (1988), about Charlie Parker.[77] Kevin Hanchard portrayed Gillespie in the Chet Baker biopic Born to Be Blue (2015).[78] Charles S. Dutton played him in For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000).

List of works