Today in History -- Jazz master Dizzy Gillespie is born.
By: Egypt Today staff CAIRO -- 21 October 2017: October 21 is the day jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie was born in 1917. He is an iconic figure in the history of jazz music. Gillespie was born John and came from a large musical family in South Carolina. He was the youngest of nine children. His father died when Gillespie was only 10 years old, leaving the family in financial trouble. He learned music on his own and was talented enough to earn a scholarship to North Carolina's Laurinburg Institute when he was 15-years-old. As the 1930s swung around, Gillespie swung with it. He performed in various prestigious bands, including with big names such as Benny Carter, Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Barnet. During the 1940s, Gillespie used his signature trumpet, held uniquely at a 45-degree angle, caused by someone accidentally sitting on it, and brought a new form of jazz into the world called Bepop. Greatly influenced by fellow jazz musician and friend Charlie Parker, Gillespie credited him with laying the foundation for his work. Gillespie also brought other influences to jazz, such as Latin music and Afro-Cuban sound, creating new rhythms and styles. Bepop took off as a wild new revolution in the world of jazz music after World War II, and Gillespie has been hailed as one of the jazz scene's most important figures. In 1990, he was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors Award. Gillespie was also a devout member of the Baha'i faith, which he believed held many of the same principles jazz did, such as oneness in all people.He passed away on January 6, 1993 from pancreatic cancer, aged 75.
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