Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and singer born on October 21, 1917 in South Carolina. Charles “Charlie” Parker Jr. was an American jazz saxophonist and composer born on August 29, 1920 in Kansas. Both Gillespie and Parker were major figures in popularizing bebop. Gillespie was known for his improvising talent and his virtuosic style was considered complex and unheard of in jazz music. Much like Gillespie, Parker was also known for his advanced style and virtuosic technique. Parker and Gillespie had a very close relationship and they formed a band together. They both decided to take their talents to Los Angeles where their style was seen as “frantic” and “chaotic” and didn’t resonate with audiences. While in Los Angeles, Parker struggled hard with his heroin addiction and Gillespie had to leave him behind to continue his musical career. Gillespie went on to New York and formed his own band where he eventually became the face of bebop. He wanted to prove that bebop could be just as popular and dance worthy as swing.

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