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Opened in 2008, The Dirty Dog is one of the premiere destinations in the United States for world class Jazz and cuisine. It combines the charm of an English-style pub with intimacy and meticulous attention to detail and hospitality.
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
November 13, 2017




Jazz Notes’s on-going centennial series celebrates the 100th birthday of some of the most significant musicians and style makers in Jazz. It was approximately 100 years ago that Jazz was starting to come into its own with new artists being born who went on to make their mark on the Jazz idiom. Earlier this year we paid tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaria, and Thelonious Monk who were all born in 1917.



This week we honor the many talents of trumpeter, composer, style-maker, and bandleader, John Birks Gillespie, otherwise known as Dizzy Gillespie, (October 21, 1917- January 6, 1993). I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview Dizzy twice during my years on Detroit Public Radio.


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Mr. Gillespie’s contributions were numerous. He is not only known as one of the greatest Jazz trumpeters of all time, he is also credited with being a progenitor of modern Jazz. This includes being one of the creators of Bebop and Latin Jazz – two very popular and influential subgenres that are still defining the Jazz sound to this day.



Dizzy ushered in the modern Jazz era the sounds of Bebop in the 1940’s with the likes of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Kenny Clarke and others. The style was very sophisticated “art music” that encouraged musicians to play outside the mainstream by using non-traditional rhythmic and harmonic elements – considered avant-garde in nature.



Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Gerald Wilson at the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival



Bebop was very challenging to play with its breakneck tempos and chord progressions pushing artists into virtuosic territory. Bebop was designed for improvisation and Gillespie was considered one of the best improvisers in Jazz. He embodied the bebop style not only in his intricate improvisations on trumpet and as an amazing scat singer but also in his personal style that included his signature beret and horn-rimmed glasses.



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Dizzy is also recognized as playing a major role in the founding and development of Latin or Afro-Cuban Jazz in the late 1940’s. This new movement infused traditional Afro-Cuban musical elements such as rhythms and instrumentation into Jazz, including Bebop. Dizzy met Cuban-Jazz percussionist Chano Pozo in 1947 through trumpeter Mario Bauza.



Pozo soon became the conga player in Dizzy’s band bringing authenticity to the new Afro-Cuban Jazz sounds that were becoming very popular.  As a bandleader and mentor Dizzy Gillespie nurtured musicians who were attracted to Bebop and Afro-Cuban Jazz, but needed direction and playing opportunities.



Dizzy Gillespie was a great teacher and had a major influence on the careers of other musicians who he took under his wing. This was a common trait of band leaders who took their jobs seriously. They led the band in more ways that just conducting. Dizzy is also known for writing charts that are have become standard arrangements still being used by bands all over the world.



Artists he mentored and influenced include some of Jazz’s most admired musicians such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Arturo Sandoval and countless others including major contemporary artists such as Danilo Perez, Chucho Valdez, Roy Hargrove and David Sanchez.






Dizzy Gillespie and His Big Band featuring Chano Pozo 1947







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