Dizzy Gillespie, trumpeter
birth name: John Birks Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie

October 21, 1917 Cheraw, SC ~ January 6, 1993, Englewood, NJ

Nicknamed “Dizzy” because of his zany on-stage antics, Gillespie, a brass virtuoso, set new standards for trumpet players with his innovative, “jolting rhythmic shifts and ceaseless harmonic explorations” on the instrument during the 1940's period, which ushered in a definitive change in American Jazz music from swing to bebop. ~ All about Jazz: Dizzy Gillespie ~ retrieved July 11, 2013 © All About Jazz

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October 21, 1978 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) A Taste Of Honey, Boogie Oogie Oogie ~ #2 (2) Nick Gilder, Hot Child In The City ~ #1 (1) Exile, Kiss You All Over


Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time (some would say the best), Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up copying Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis' emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated. Somehow, Gillespie could make any "wrong" note fit, and harmonically he was ahead of everyone in the 1940s, including Charlie Parker. Unlike Bird, Dizzy was an enthusiastic teacher who wrote down his musical innovations and was eager to explain them to the next generation, thereby insuring that bebop would eventually become the foundation of jazz. ~ Allmusic: Dizzy Gillespie ~ retrieved January 6, 2014 © Allmusic

Dizzy Gillespie ~ Named a 1993 Polar Music Prize Laureate.

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Aretha Franklin ~ Who's Zoomin' Who? (1985) ~ Ranked #89 Rolling Stone 100 Best Albums Of The Eighties in 1990 ~ “If I see someone cute,” Aretha Franklin told producer Narada Michael Walden during an initial telephone conversation to discuss working together on an album the singer was planning, “I may wink. Then he may wink, and it's like 'Who's zoomin' who?'” ~ 1990 © Rolling Stone

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