January 6, 1993
Dizzy Gillespie was one of the most famous
composers of be-bop, a form of modern jazz that he created along
with pianist Thelonious Monk, drummer Kenny Clarke, guitarist
Charlie Christian, and alto saxophonist Charlie "Yardbird"
Parker. Gillespie contributed an enormous amount to jazz and
modern music and he played up until he died, which was on this
day, January 6, 1993. Gillespie described be-bop as music with a
different accent, " ... on the up beat. Instead of OO-bah, it's
oo-BAH. Different chords too." Guess what city Gillespie played
in the most.
Dizzy was one cool cat who jammed all over
New York City, particularly along 52nd Street, often called
"Swing Lane," and "Be-Bop Alley." Gillespie and the other
musicians liked to hold long jam sessions in Harlem where they
could show off their musical talents. Gillespie was quite a
showman and he toured all over. He was known for his bent
trumpet and having "moon cheeks" when he played.
styles borrow from each other. If you listen to Gillespie's
be-bop, maybe you will hear some chords and rhythms that are
similar to the music you listen to today. Ask someone in your
family about the music he or she heard growing up. What was
different about it? How is hip-hop like be-bop? How is it