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Saturday August 31, 2024

06:00 PM - 11:59 pm

8:00 PM (Doors 6:00 PM)
10:30 PM (Doors 10:00 PM)

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 Dizzy Gillespie, playing in a small combo was never enough. His artistry compelled him to seek and to create larger ensembles because as a composer and arranger, a big band was 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’s especially notable that Dizzy 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 Big Band is a direct descendant of those ventures and happily, the tradition lives on. Nurtured by Gillespie alumnus, executive director and producer, bassist John Lee. Together they continue to delight audiences around the world with the enduring power and freshness of Dizzy Gillespie’s music. This is the legacy the master would have wanted—and a living tribute from the many extraordinary musicians in this group who exemplify his style, range, passion, and commitment.

The band now features some of the fastest rising next generation talents in jazz today including vocalist Roberta Gambarini, pianist Cyrus Chestnut, trumpeters Freddie Hendrix, Greg Gisbert, Frank Greene, and Diego Urcola. Saxophonists Don Braden, Mark Gross, Tim Ries, Gary Smulyan, and Steve Wilson. Trombonists Steve Davis, Jason Jackson, Jeff Nelson, Ron Wilkins, and drummer Vince Ector. All of them band leaders and recording artists in their own right.

Executive director John Lee had a close association with Dizzy, serving as his bassist for the last decade of Dizzy’s life, in his small groups as well as his Grammy Award winning United Nation Orchestra and Dizzy’s classic Big Band. The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band has recorded three critically acclaimed CDs: “Things to Come” (MCG Jazz), “Dizzy’s Business” (MCG Jazz), and “I’m Beboppin Too” (Halfnote). The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band has performed at major concert halls and music festivals in North America including; Boston Symphony Hall, Massachusetts’ Tanglewood Music Center, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Chicago’s Ravinia, Washington, DC’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, New York State’s Saratoga Springs, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, CA, the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, CA, Detroit’s Symphony Hall, Denver’s Newman Center and Boettcher Concert Hall, Vancouver’s Chan Center, Cleveland Symphony Hall, New York ’s Lincoln Center, and the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The have also performed at major concert halls and jazz festivals in Australia, Austria, Aruba, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Curacao, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, and Wales.

John Lee – director
Roberta Gambarini – vocals
Cyrus Chestnut – piano
John Lee – bass
Vince Ector – drums
Mark Gross – alto sax
Steve Wilson – alto sax
Don Braden – tenor sax
Tim Ries – tenor sax
Gary Smulyan – baritone sax
Frank Greene – lead trumpet
Greg Gisbert – trumpet
Freddie Hendrix – trumpet
Diego Urcola – trumpet
Jason Jackson – lead trombone
Steve Davis – trombone
Ron Wlkins – trombone & vocals
Jeff Nelson – bass trombone
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Saturday August 31, 2024

6:00 pm - 11:59 pm

All Ages

Cover: TBD




Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars, New York


Fusicology