The Ambassador of Jazz – Dizzy Gillespie

October 21 at 21:00 CEST


On October 21, legendary trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) would have celebrated his 100th birthday! Stingray DJAZZ toasts the venerated bebop trumpeter's centennial at 21:00 CEST. Sit back and enjoy vintage concert performances from 1958 and 1970 in which “Diz” is accompanied by distinguished players, including saxophonist Sonny Stitt and bassist Ray Brown.

Known for his trademark cheek pouches and his unusual trumpet, which had a bell that bent upward at a 45-degree angle, Dizzy Gillespie is one of the founding fathers of bebop, and played a central role in the development of modern jazz. As early as the 1940s, Gillespie fronted several big bands and ensembles, playing with bebop stars Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk. However, unlike Miles, Dizzy never turned his back on bebop.

One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, along with Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, Gillespie built on Roy Eldridge's 1930s style, adding more harmonic complexity. His improvisations displayed a virtuosity that generations to come would struggle to match. Stingray DJAZZ broadcasts a 1958 performance in which Dizzy is accompanied by several other bebop icons, including saxophonist Sonny Stitt and bass player Ray Brown. 

Some of Dizzy Gillespie’s best-known compositions include “Woody 'n' You”, “Salt Peanuts”, “Groovin’ High”, and “A Night in Tunisia”. This last tune is an example of the Afro-Cuban influence in Gillespie's work from the late 1940s. Stingray DJAZZ presents a 1970 concert in which the Latin influence is abundantly clear, with show-stopping pieces such as “Con Alma” and “Manteca”. Sit back and enjoy these dizzying performances! 

Saturday, October 21 at 21:00 CEST | John Birks 'Dizzy' Gillespie: Live in '58 & '70

Dizzy Gillespie: Live in '58 & '70 features two historic concerts from one of the founding fathers of bebop. Filmed 12 years apart, the 1958 concert features Dizzy working eloquently within the small combo structure of a quintet including such influential musicians as sax player Sonny Stitt and bassist Ray Brown. The second show focuses on a completely different side of Dizzy, fronting the legendary Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band. With a 16-piece big band to conduct, including two drummers, his Latin influences are revealed on Con Alma and Manteca.

Musicians: Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Lou Levy, Ray Brown, Gus Johnson, Tony Coe, Derek Humble, Billy Mitchell, Ronnie Scott, Sahib Shihab, Benny Bailey, Art Farmer, Dusko Goykovich, Idrees Sulieman, Nat Peck, Åke Persson, Erik van Lier, Francy Boland, Jimmy Woode, Kenny Clarke
Producer: Reelin in the Years
Video director: Tom Gullota
Location: Belgium & Denmark 
Year: 1958 & 1970