Dizzy Gillespie

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Gillespie, Dizzy

(John Birks Gillespie) (gəlĕs`pē), 1917–93, American jazz musician and composer, b. Cheraw, S.C. He began to play the trumpet at 15 and later studied harmony and theory at Laurinburg Institute, N.C. He played with the bands of Cab Calloway and Billy Eckstine. Gillespie and Charlie "Bird" ParkerParker, Charlie "Bird"
(Charles Christopher Parker, Jr.), 1920–55, American musician and composer, b. Kansas City, Kans. He began playing alto saxophone in 1933 and, shifting from one band to another, eventually met Dizzy Gillespie in New York City.
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 are considered the leaders of the bop (or bebop) movement in modern jazzjazz,
the most significant form of musical expression of African-American culture and arguably the most outstanding contribution the United States has made to the art of music. Origins of Jazz

Jazz developed in the latter part of the 19th cent.
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. Gillespie's playing was characterized by intelligent musicianship and technical facility.


See his autobiography, To Be or Not to Bop (1979); biographies by M. James (1961), B. McRae (1988), and A. Shipton (1999).