Dizzy Gillespie

October 26, 2017 – November 26, 2017

Dizzy Gillespie by Herman Leonard, selenium-toned gelatin silv er print, 1948 (printed 1998). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution © Herman Leonard Photography, LLC

National Portrait Gallery
8th and F Streets, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor North, Celebrate space Floor Plan

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery honors the life and legacy of jazz trumpeter, composer and band leader Dizzy Gillespie on the centennial of his birth.

Gillespie first rose to fame in the 1940s and maintained an influential presence in the music scene for five decades. At the age of 21, he joined Cab Calloway's legendary big band and contributed solos to numerous recordings. Along with Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and other young musicians, Gillespie spearheaded freewheeling jazz compositions that spawned the new, energetic form of jazz known as bebop. He helped introduce Afro-Cuban jazz to worldwide audiences and was considered one of the most enthusiastic ambassadors for modern jazz.