John was born in Cheraw, South Carolina. He taught himself to
play trombone and trumpet and then learned piano in school.
He got his nickname because he was always clowning around, but
he stuck with the trumpet. Dizzy was playing in Cab Calloway's
band when he met the great Charlie Parker in Kansas City. They
came up with a new, cool kind of jazz called bebop and Dizzy
became a famous bebop player. And he still clowned around. One
day someone fell on his trumpet and it bent into a funny shape.
He left it that way. Just perfect for Dizzy. Mr. Gillespie was one of
the most brilliant and influential jazz artists in the world. He
inspired many young musicians and was always a true original.
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