Jazz Musician. He was a trumpeter recognized as one of the most major contributors to the development of American bebop and modern jazz. Known as the "ambassador of jazz", he began his career in the 1930s, when he joined Cab Calloway's orchestra. For the next six decades, he led his own bands, both big and small, and toured the world playing his complex and upbeat music. He has performed with virtually all the great names of jazz to included Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Stan Levy and John Coltrane. He recorded countless albums and was best noted for his signature tunes "A Night in Tunisia" and "Salt Peanuts". In 1972, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences' Grammy Award ceremonies and received the National Medal of Arts from President George Bush. During the 1980s, he organized the Dizzy Gillespie National Orchestra which performed at jazz festivals world wide until his death. He died of cancer at the age of 75.
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith