1917 - 1993
Dizzy Gillespie, Southern jazz trumpeter, one of the leading exponents of bebop, and one of the foremost jazz trumpeters through six decades. He was born John Birks Gillespie in Cheraw, South Carolina. After playing in the big bands of such figures as Cab Calloway and Earl “Fatha” Hines, he collaborated (1945) with saxophonist Charlie Parker to produce some of the most important recordings of the era. He was prominent as a leader of big bands as early as the mid-1940s and continued to perform internationally through the 1980s. His compositions include “Salt Peanuts,” “Bebop,” and “Night in Tunisia,” as well as “Manteca,” a pioneering work in an Afro-Cuban jazz style.