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A man with brown eyes and black hair weighing 162 pounds at five feet nine inches tall and winner for the best trumpeter of 1956 in the Down Beat poll must be Dizzy Gellespie Dizzy was born on October 21 1917 as John Birks Gillespie from Cheraw north Carolina He was the ninth and last child of John and Lottie Gillespie Dizzy was given early instrumental training by his father who was the teacher and director of a local band This in turn meant there was many instruments in their home Dizzy ended up learning to play the trumpet piano drums and the trombone At age of ten Dizzys father died leaving Dizzy with the ability to play an organize his first band at age fourteen At that age he already acquired a reputation for his prowess on the trumpet Dizzy ended up winning a scholarship to the Laurinburg Institute where he studied in theory and harmony In 1935 Dizzy moved to Philadelphia and got a job playing in the Frank Fairfax band During this time he got his nickname Dizzy because of his eccentric mannerism In 1937 Dizzy made his first recording with the Teddy Hills Orchestra during this time he was emulating the style of jazz trumpeter Roy Eldridge He first toured Europe and the United States with Teddy Hills Orchestra until it broke up in 1939 Then in the fall of 1939 Gillespie joined the band of Cab Calloway Impressed with Dizzys imaginative arrangements Calloway had him make several records including Pickin the Cabbage In 1940 came the thought of a different view of jazz called BeBop Dizzy and a few musicians felt that the old jazz style didnt express the modern generation This began the after work meetings at the upper Manhattan night club called Mintons Playhouse By showing a musician how the last two notes of a musical phrase should sound Dizzy sang it out be bop be bop be
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