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Google honors jazz great Dizzy Gillespie with doodle

October 21, 2010 | 10:21 am


Those yellow circles on his face are the famous balloon cheeks that would inflate each time Dizzy Gillespie would put lips to trumpet. On Thursday, the jazz great became the latest cultural icon to be honored with a doodle on Google's homepage in honor of his 93rd birthday.

Gillespie was a trumpet player and composer who helped bring bebop and Afro-Cuban jazz to the masses through his performances and recordings. He was a contemporary of Charlie Parker, with whom he championed bebop as a new American musical art form.

Famous for his inflatable cheeks, Gillespie cut a memorable figure on the stage and was a prolific concert performer up until his death in 1993 at age 75.

Wynton Marsalis paid tribute Thursday to Gillespie on Facebook, writing that "Dizzy was a great dancer, teacher, wit, and spiritual presence. He believed in consolidating musicians and the music, in celebrating and extending its traditions and in bringing its enlightening impact to as many people as possible as often as possible."

Other cultural figures who have doodled by Google include Igor Stravinsky, Frida Kahlo, Wayne Thiebaud, Josef Franck and Isaac Albéniz.

-- David Ng

Photo credit: Google

Comments () | Archives (15)

ugh, so not good.

i know that

Dizzy was Braque to Bird's Picasso. If Parker hadnt died so young and inflicted heroin as a way of life on so many future musical artists, he would have had a career as Pablo did. Instead, he with Gillespie invented musical cubism, bebop. Others like Miles Davis was the Matisse of music, fluid lines and rich simplified modal color/harmony/tone. Monk and Dolphy Klee like in inventiveness and poetry. Coltrane creating synthetic cubism, with his sheets of sound, through atonal and free jazz. Ornette Coleman, at UCLA on Nov 3, perhaps his Birds closest relative and future growth personified.

Jazz IS Modern music, others are but the silly Duchampian and pop pablum of the academies. But we Americans have never embraced our true creative heritage, as the French did not buy Gauguin and Matisse for decades as supposed rebellions aainst their traditions, when truly updating and continuing their validity.

Save the Watts Towers and demand their inclusion in the Gettys ghettoizing events of Pacific Standard Time. LA's musical heritage is long and deep, with Dolphy, Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, Hampton Hawes, Pepper Adams, Etta James and so many more from here, and so many more like Coleman making it home.


I am a huge jazz fan and absolutely love Dizzy. When I looked at google today I was glad you guys honored him, but I do not think the picture does him justice. It does not remind me of Dizzy or Jazz in the least bit, no offense. Also, Dizzy never had that sort of posture when he played, he was always standing upright...you got him confused with miles davis. But either way, it is still wonderful that you honored such a great trumpeter.

Thank You.

"Famous for his inflatable cheeks"?! Seriously? And John Lennon was famous for marrying Yoko Ono, amiright?


A very cool tribute to a wonderful musician. I think he would have liked it. :)

this is cool

i loved this man he was mine all mine!


this is a nice picture to give tribute to a wonderful trumpit player, a very talented musician, and extrodinary man.

I always love the Google art. I wish they would allow you to order T shirts with some of the art on it.

cool i love his cheeks!!

he is so awsome!!!

One of greatest trumpeters of all-time. Here is a rare clip of Dizzy Gillespie performing "Gillespiana" on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1961- http://goo.gl/umQ4

Very important to remember, and have in perspective, our American musical giants, as was Dizzy. Thank you for the thoughtful tribute!


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