South Carolina Hall Of Fame: John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie

Born-(Died): 1917-1993
Profession: Musician
Inducted: 1985

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Born in Cheraw, South Carolina, Dizzy Gillespie gained worldwide fame as one of the leaders of the bebop revolution in jazz music. He began his music career in 1929 playing the trombone and trumpet. His styles of improvising and trumpet playing were widely imitated in the 1940s and 1950s. He organized the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra in 1945 and was the first jazz musician appointed by the United States Department of State to lead a cultural mission. He is recognized as the first modern jazz stylist, and his fans selected him as the best trumpeter in many national polls. He performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, and the White House and is remembered as one of the best ambassadors of jazz.