Happy Birthday, Dizzy Gillespie: Google Doodle Celebrates Jazz Legend

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Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie would have been 93 today, and Google changed its doodle to commemorate him.

Dizzy was born John Birks Gillespie in 1917 in South Carolina. When he was 14, he moved to Philadelphia, where he started playing professionally. When he was a swing musician, he picked up the nickname “Dizzy,” and it stuck. During his career, he helped start the bebop and Afro-Cuban styles of jazz. Gillespie even ran for president after a joke went too far in 1964 — the would would have been a lot cooler with him in the Oval Office. (See the story of Google Doodles.)

Gillespie died of pancreatic cancer in 1993. He was 75. See video of Gillespie playing his famed “bent trumpet” with Louis Armstrong in 1959. (via Guardian, NPR)

(See pictures by jazz photographer Herman Leonard.)

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