Creator of Bebop

History

Dizzy Gillespie is a leading figure in the creation of bebop, his influence is still prevalent to this day. Gillespie  popularized bebop with his trumpet playing skills. He was a jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator, and singer. He was known for his onomatopoetic verbalization of the music. With his trumpet, Gillespie added layers of rhythmic complexity that were never seen before in jazz. 

Style

Dizzy Gillespie’s style was very unique. He always took his listeners by surprise. When he played the trumpet his cheeks always puffed up really big. His solos included long pauses, high notes, slurs, and bluesy phrases with different approaches. He was very quick-minded, and all of his ideas were fast tempo. He was very intelligent with his playing style. 

Early Life

Dizzy Gillespie was born in Cheraw, South Carolina. Gillespie started to play the piano at 4 years old, he was exposed to instruments at a young age by his father who was a band leader. He attended the Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina for 2 years. He joined Teddy Hill’s band where Gillespie made his first recording, “King Porter Stomp”. Gillespie stayed with Teddy Hill’s band for a year, then left and freelanced with other bands. In 1943, he joined the Earl Hines band. Hines’s band was revolutionary in bebop, even though there were no recordings of the band

Accomplishments

Gillespe accomplished a lot during his liftime. He created bebop but he also helped pioneer Afro-Cuban Jazz. He won several Grammy Awards. He founded his record label, Dee Gee Records, in 1951. In the 1980s he led the United Nations orchestra. In 1989, Gillespie was awarded with an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee School of Music. He also starred in the film “The Winter in Lisbon”. He accomplished all of these achievements before his passing from pancreatic cancer in 1993.

Influence

Gillespie influenced many other trumpeters like Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, and many more artists. His scat singing, bent trumpet, pouched cheeks, and improvisation became symbols for bebop. He is one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time.

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