Dizzy Gillespie™ All-Star Big Band
At Blue Note Jazz Club – Shows at 8PM & 10:30PM (Doors at 6PM / 9:45PM)
History has produced its share of great artists and great people – John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was both. As a performer, he left behind an incredible record of innovation and inspiration; as a composer, a broad repository of musical masterpieces; and as a man, a legion of friends, colleagues, and compatriots who remember him with the same degree of love and esteem they reserve for his work.
For Gillespie, playing in a small combo was never enough. His artistry compelled him to seek larger ensembles because, for a brilliant composer and arranger, a big band is the ultimate vehicle for self-expression. Given that the majority of his career took place after 1950 when the big band era was over, it is especially notable that Gillespie continued to create brilliant music using the grand-scale formats of jazz big band and orchestra right up to the end of his life in 1993.
The Dizzy Gillespie™ All-Star Big Band and smaller Alumni All-Star group are the direct descendants of Gillespie’s musical ventures. The groups feature some of Dizzy’s closest compatriots: senior statesman and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath; veteran Gillespie alumni Roy Hargrove, vocalist Roberta Gambarini, Cyrus Chestnut, Steve Davis, and Lewis Nash; and musical director John Lee. All of them are bandleaders, educators, and recording artists in their own right. These groups are the legacy the master would have wanted, and they serve as a living tribute from extraordinary musicians who exemplify Dizzy’s style, range, and commitment.
Together, the Dizzy Big Band and small group All-Stars have recorded numerous critically acclaimed albums. One of the Big Band’s latest albums, I’m BeBoppin’ Too, was released on Half Note Records in 2009. All About Jazz called the recording “a remarkably proficient and invariably engaging outing.”
The Dizzy Gillespie™ All-Star Big Band is excited to return to its home at New York’s famed Blue Note Jazz Club, which was for many years Dizzy’s favorite jazz club not only in New York City, but in the world. The All-Star Big Band performs there for a week every summer, and the Alumni All-Star small group celebrates Dizzy’s birthday with a week of performances at the club every October.« Back to Events