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dizzy gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie

b. John Birks Gillespie, 21st October 1917, Cheraw, South Carolina, U.S.A.

d. 6th January 1993, Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Dizzy Gillespie was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer.

Dizzy was a pivotal figure in the progression of the genre 'Bebop', a formative ingredient relating to modern jazz.

He was also given the title of 'the sound of surprise'.

Born in South Carolina, his parents were James and Lottie Gillespie.

Dizzy’s father was a local bandleader and Dizzy started to play the piano at the age of four.

After his father died, whilst he was a youngster, Dizzy taught himself how to play the trombone as well as the trumpet.

Dizzy then attended the Laurinburg Institute in Laurinburg, North Carolina, after relocating to Philadelphia.

In 1935 he joined the Frank Fairfax Orchestra, which led to further work at the orchestra’s of Edgar Hayes and Teddy Hill.

With Teddy Hill, Dizzy made his first recording, entitled ‘King Porter Stomp’.

In 1937, Dizzy met a dancer called Lorraine Willis, who Dizzy married, and stayed with up until his death.

Dizzy GillespieDizzy GillespieDizzy GillespieDizzy Gillespie

dizzier and dizzier - 1949 / dizzy gillespie - 1952 / dizzy in paris - 1953 / pleyel jazz concert - 1954

In 1939, Dizzy joined Cab Calloway's orchestra, recording ‘Pickin' the Cabbage’ a year later.

Dizzy left Cab 1941, following a disagreement.

He then began penning music for the big bands.

These included Woody Herman and Jimmy Dorsey.

At this time, Dizzy began working with the Chic Webb band, along with Ella Fitzgerald.

In 1943, Dizzy joined the Earl Hines band, after which he joined Billy Eckstine's big band.

This joined Dizzy with Charlie Parker, who was also with Earl Hines's band.

In 1945, left the band to form a smaller unit, comprising five musicians, playing the trumpet, saxophone, piano, bass and drums, which enabled him to work with the genre Bebop.

Bebop was known as the first modern jazz style.

With Charlie Parker, played at jazz clubs such as Minton's Playhouse and Monroe's Uptown House.

Dizzy penned ‘Groovin' High’, ‘Woody 'n' You’, ‘Salt Peanuts and ‘A Night in Tunisia’, (written in 1942).

Dizzy educated many of the young musicians on 52nd Street, including Miles Davis and Max Roach, in this new jazz format.

After he had finished collaborating with Charlie Parker, Dizzy led other small groups.

At this time, Dizzy appeared with Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic.

In 1948, Dizzy was involved in a traffic accident when the bicycle he was riding was hit by an automobile.

In 1956, he toured the Middle East, earning him the title of ‘the Ambassador of Jazz’.

Dizzy GillespieDizzy GillespieDizzy GillespieDizzy Gillespie

dizzy and strings - 1955 / world statesman - 1956 / dizzy gillespie at newport - 1957 / dizzy in greece - 1958

Dizzy’s band recorded a live album at the 1957 Newport jazz festival that featured Mary Lou Williams as a guest artist on piano.

He began playing Afro-Cuban music, which was based on traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms.

The trumpet player, Chano Pozo, became Gillespie's conga drummer for his band.

Dizzy GillespieDizzy GillespieDizzy GillespieDizzy Gillespie

the ebullient mr. gillespie - 1959 / gillespiana - 1960 / perceptions - 1961 / dizzy on the french riviera - 1962

He collaborated with Mario Bauza, additionally, both playing together in the Chick Webb band.

Dizzy GillespieDizzy GillespieDizzy GillespieDizzy Gillespie

new wave! - 1963 / jambo caribe - 1964 / the new continent - 1965 / the melody lingers on - 1966

In 1977, Dizzy discovered Arturo Sandoval, after meeting the musician on a tour of Cuba.

Dizzy GillespieDizzy GillespieDizzy GillespieDizzy Gillespie

swing low, sweet chariot - 1967 / soul and salvation - 1969 / portrait of jenny - 1970 / the source - 1973

Dizzy published his autobiography, ‘To Be or Not to Bop’, in 1979.

Dizzy GillespieDizzy Gillespie

sweet soul - 1977 / closer to the source - 1984

In 1982, Dizzy played on Stevie Wonder's hit ‘Do I Do’, a favour which was returned two years later, with Stevie appearing on Dizzy’s album ‘Closer To The Source’.

During 1989, Dizzy played 300 performances in 27 countries.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.

Dizzy lived in Englewood, New Jersey, up until his passing.

He died of pancreatic cancer in 1993, at the age of 75.

Dizzy was buried in the Flushing Cemetery, Queens, New York.

Dizzy Gillespie

Real Player


Development of an American Artist, 1940-1946 (Smithsonian Records 1940)

Dizzy Gillespie with Charlie Christian (Esoteric Records 1941)

Complementary Works, Vol. 5 (Masters of 1945 Records)

In the Beginning (Prestige Records 1945)

Shaw Nuff (Musicraft Records 1945)

Modern Trumpets (Dial Records 1946)

Dizziest (Bluebird Records 1946)

One Bass Hit (Musicraft Records 1946)

Live at the Spotlite (Hi-Fly Records 1946)

Live 1946 (Bandstand Records 1946)

At the Downbeat Club (Summer, 1947) ([live] Records 1947)

It Happened One Night (Natural Records 1947)

Live at Carnegie Hall (Artistry Records 1947)

Jivin' in Be Bop (Moon Records 1947)

Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach in Paris [live] (Vogue Records 1948)

Dizzy Gillespie and His Big Band (GNP Crescendo Records 1948)

Good Bait (Spotlite Records 1948)

Dizzy Gillespie Plays, Johnny Richards... (Discovery Records 1950)

Dee Gee Days: Savoy Sessions (Savoy Records 1951)

Dizzy Gillespie [Dee Gee] (Dee Gee Records 1951)

The Champ (Savoy Records 1951)

School Days (Savoy Jazz Records 1951)

Dizzy Gillespie, Vol. 2 (Atlantic Records 1952)

Dizzy Gillespie, Vol. 1 (Atlantic Records 1952)

Horn of Plenty (Blue Note Records 1952)

Dizzy Gillespie in Concert [live] (Daybreak Records 1952)

Dizzy Gillespie in Paris, Vol. 2 [live] (Vogue Records 1952)

Dizzy Gillespie with Strings (Clef Records 1952)

Jazz from Paris [live] (Clef Records 1952)

Dizzy Gillespie/Gerry Mulligan (Europa Records 1952)

On the Sunny Side of the Street (Moon Records 1952)

In Paris [live] (Vogue Records 1952)

Dizzy over Paris (Roost Records 1953)

Dizzy Gillespie Paris Concert [live] (GNP Records 1953)

Concert in Paris [live] (Roost Records 1953)

Dizzy Gillespie in Paris, Vol. 1 [live] (Vogue Records 1953)

Pleyel Concert 1953 [live] (Vogue Records 1953)

Hot Vs. Cool (MGM Records 1953)

The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever [live] (Prestige Records 1953)

The Dizzy Gillespie/Stan Getz Sextet, Vol. 1 (Norgran Records 1953)

The Dizzy Gillespie/Stan Getz Sextet, Vol. 2 (Norgran Records 1953)

Diz and Getz (Verve Records 1953)

And Stan Getz (PolyGram Records 1953)

Dizzy in Paris [Contemporary] (Contemporary Records 1953)

Afro (Norgran Records 1954)

Dizzy Gillespie and His Orchestra (Norgran Records 1954)

Jazz Recital (Verve Records 1954)

And His Latin Rhythm: Afro (Verve Records 1954)

'Round Midnight (Verve Records 1954)

Dizzy and Strings (Norgran Records 1954)

Diz Big Band (Norgran Records 1954)

Dizzy Gillespie with Roy Eldridge (Verve Records 1954)

The Trumpet Kings (Verve Records 1954)

Trumpet Battle (Verve Records 1954)

Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra (Allegro Records 1954)

Dizzy Gillespie and His Original Big Band (GNP Records 1954)

One Night in Washington (Elektra Records 1955)

The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band [Verve] (Verve Records 1955)

Tour De Force (Verve Records 1955)

The Modern Jazz Sextet (Verve Records 1956)

Dizzy in Greece [live] (Verve Records 1956)

World Statesman (Norgran Records 1956)

On Tour with Dizzy Gillespie and His Big Band (Artistry Records 1956)

For Musicians Only (Verve Records 1956)

Dizzy Gillespie Plays (Allegro Records 1956)

Dizzy Gillespie and His Big Band at Birdland [live] (Sandy Hook Records 1956)

Birk's Works (Verve Records 1957)

Dizzy Gillespie and Stuff Smith (Verve Records 1957)

'Live' 1957 (Jazz Unlimited Records 1957)

The Live in Chester (Jazz Hour Records 1957)

Sittin' In (Verve Records 1957)

Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie at Newport [live] (Verve Records 1957)

At Newport [Verve] [live] (Verve Records 1957)

Dizzy Gillespie Duets (Verve Records 1957)

Sonny Rollins / Sonny Stitt Sessions (Verve Records 1957)

Duets: Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt (Verve Records 1957)

The Greatest Trumpet of Them All (Verve Records 1957)

Sonny Side Up (Verve Records 1957)

Dizzy at Home and Abroad (Atlantic Records 1957)

The Ebullient Mr. Gillespie (Verve Records 1959)

Have Trumpet, Will Excite! (Verve Records 1959)

Diz and Bird (Royal Roost Records 1959)

Copenhagen Concert [live] (Steeple Chase Records 1959)

An Electrifying Evening with the Dizzy... (Verve Records 1961)

Carnegie Hall Concert [live] (Verve Records 1961)

Perceptions (Verve Records 1961)

A Musical Safari (Booman Records 1961)

Gillespiana (Verve Records 1961)

Dizzy Gillespie Quintet in Europe [live] (Unique Records 1961)

New Wave (Philips Records 1962)

Jazz on the French Riviera [live] (Philips Records 1962)

Dizzy on the French Riviera (Philips Records 1962)

The New Continent (Limelight Records 1962)

Composer's Concepts (EmArcy Records 1962)

Something Old, Something New (Philips Records 1963)

Dizzy Gillespie and the Double Six of Paris [live] (Verve Records 1963)

Dizzy Gillespie Goes Hollywood (Philips Records 1963)

The At Newport [Tristar] [live] (Tristar Records 1963)

Dateline Europe (Reprise Records 1963)

The Cool World (Philips Records 1964)

Jambo Caribe (Verve Records 1964)

With Gil Fuller and the Monterey Jazz... (Blue Note Records 1965)

And His Quintet (RTE Records 1965)

Soul Mates (VSP Records 1966)

Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac (GRP / Impulse! Records 1967)

Live at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note Records 1967)

Jazz for a Sunday Afternoon (Solid State Records 1967)

Reunion Big Band (MPS Records 1968)

My Way (Solid State Records 1969)

Soul and Salvation (Tribute Records 1969)

Sweet Soul [live] (Gateway Records 1969)

The Beginning: Diz and Bird (Roost Records 1969)

Enduring Magic (Black Hawk Records 1970)

Giants (Perception Records 1971)

The Real Thing (Perception Records 1971)

The Giants of Jazz and Dizzy Gillespie Live (Jazz Door Records 1971)

Dizzy Gillespie and the Dwike... (Mainstream Records 1971)

Blues People (Koch Records 1971)

Giants of Jazz (Atlantic Records 1972)

The Giant (Accord Records 1973)

Dizzy's Big 4 [Gold] (Analogue Records 1974)

Trumpet Kings Meet Joe Turner (Pablo Records 1974)

Dizzy's Big 4 (Pablo / OJC Records 1974)

Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods (Original Jazz Records 1975)

The Dizzy Gillespie Big Seven (Pablo Records 1975)

At the Montreux Jazz Festival 1975 [live] (Original Jazz Records 1975)

The Trumpet Kings at Montreux '75 [live] (Pablo Records 1975)

Bahiana (Pablo Records 1975)

Dizzy's Party (Original Jazz Records 1976)

Free Ride (Original Jazz Records 1977)

Gifted Ones (Pablo Records 1977)

Montreux '77 [live] (Pablo Records 1977)

Diz (RCA Records 1978)

Manteca (Pickwick Records 1979)

Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival (Ala Records 1979)

Trumpet Summit Meets Oscar Peterson Big Four (Original Jazz Records 1980)

At Montreux [live] (Pablo Records 1980)

Digital at Montreux, 1980 [live] (Pablo Records 1980)

Summertime (Digital at Montreux, 1980) [live] (Pablo Records 1980)

Summertime Montreux 1980 [live] (Pablo Records 1980)

Endlessly (MCA Records 1981)

Jazzbohne Berlin 1981 [live] (Repertoire Records 1981)

Musician, Composer, Raconteur: Plays & Raps... [live] (Pablo Records 1981)

To a Finland Station (Fantasy / OJC Records 1982)

Closer to the Source (Atlantic Records 1984)

New Faces (GRP Records 1984)

Closer To The Source (Japanese Sony Records 1985)

Dizzy Gillespie Meets the Phil Woods Quintet (Timeless Records 1986)

Max + Dizzy, Paris 1989 [live] (A&M Records 1989)

Live at Royal Festival Hall (Enja Records 1989)

Symphony Sessions (August 25, 1989) (Pro Arte Records 1989)

Winter in Lisbon (Milan Records 1990)

On the French Riviera (Polygram Records 1990)

Rhythmstick (CTI Records 1991)

Bebop and Beyond Plays Dizzy Gillespie (Blue Moon Records 1991)

Dizzy Gillespie & Mitchell Ruff (Mainstream Records 1991)

To Bird With Love: Live at the Blue Note (Telarc Records 1992)

Dizzy Gillespie with Gil Fulle (Capitol Records 1992)

To Diz with Love: Diamond Jubilee Recordings (Telarc Records 1992)

Hot Licks: Live Sweet Soul Sound (Sony Records 1993)

Ruff Duo (Sony Records 1993)

Live: Village Vanguard (Capitol Records 1993)

Big Bands (LRC Records 1994)

Lady Be Good (Four Star Records 1994)

Strangers in Paradise (ITM Records 1994)

Con Alma (Jazz World Records 1994)

All the Things You Are (Drive Records 1994)

Groovin' with Diz (Black Label Records 1995)

No More Blues (Moon Records 1995)

Hot House (Prime Cuts Records 1995)

Swing Love (Babacan Records 1995)

Diz Meets Stitt (Moon Records 1995)

Groovin' High ([Eclipse] Eclipse Music Records 1996)

Night in Tunisia ([Delta] [live] Delta Records 1996)

Things to Come (Delta Records 1996)

Live at the Latino Jazz Festival '85 (Babacan Records 1996)

Night and Day (Collector's Records 1996)

Be Bop (Delta Records 1997)

Dizzy for President (Knitting Records 1997)

Dizzy Atmosphere ([Drive Archive] Drive Archive Records 1997)

Groovin' High ([Indigo] Indigo Records 1997)

Pleyel Jazz Concert 1948 [live] (BMG Records 1997)

Pleyel Jazz Concert 1953 [live] (BMG Records 1997)

Triple Play (Telarc Records 1998)

Paris Jazz Concert 1960 [live] (Malaco Records 1998)

Dizzy in South America: Official U.S. State... (Cap Records 1999)

Night in Tunisia [Early Bird] [live] (Early Bird Records 1999)

The Rhythm Man (Magnum Records 2000)

Live: Chester, Pennsylvania, June 14, 1957 (Storyville Records 2000)

Live at the Royal Festival Hall (BBC Records 2000)

In Concert...Carnegie Hall [live] (Collectables Records 2000)

Anthology (Golden Lane Records 2000)

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