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Trumpet Discussion Discuss John Birk "Dizzy" Gillespie's trumpet in the General forums; I heard that he was playing trumpet as a child and dropped it from a tree, where he was playing, ...
  1. #21
    Pianissimo User stradivarius151's Avatar
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    Mar 2010

    Re: John Birk "Dizzy" Gillespie's trumpet

    I heard that he was playing trumpet as a child and dropped it from a tree, where he was playing, and found that he liked the sound much more.
    Play loud! I've been told that my piano isn't exactly my forte......

    No pressure, but don't use pressure.

  2. #22
    New Friend trumpetplanet's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Bristol, UK

    Re: John Birk "Dizzy" Gillespie's trumpet

    Not sure if this has been recalled on this post but according to Wikipedia:
    Gillespie's biographer Alyn Shipton writes that Gillespie likely got the idea when he saw a similar instrument in 1937 in Manchester, England while on tour with the Teddy Hill Orchestra. According to this account (from British journalist Pat Brand) Gillespie was able to try out the horn and the experience led him, much later, to commission a similar horn for himself.

  3. #23
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    Aug 2009
    Jackson NC

    Re: John Birk "Dizzy" Gillespie's trumpet

    Citing two of gmonday's paragraphs as I believe to be the true story:

    " He had the horn straightened out the next day but couldn't get that sound out of his mind. "I remembered the way the sound had come from it, quicker to the ear, my ear," Gillespie recalled. The 45- degree angle brought the bell closer and let him hear the sound sooner.

    He had his wife draw the bent trumpet, sent the picture to the Martin Co. and asked it to make him one. Company officials called the idea crazy, but "they made the trumpet and I've been playing one like that ever since. With my instrument, when you hit a note, Bam! You hear it right then. It's only a split second, but a split second means a lot."

    I surmise that the Dizzy Gillespie trumpet in the Smithsonian is NOT the original, but one of his Martins he commisioned to have built later as helped him to such reknown fame. Such is based on that part of the true story that he had his original straightened the next day.

    Now for historical accuracy I'd like to have documented knowledge of when, where, and who straightened the bell of the original. To follow the true story, it would seem to have been someone in NYC as there just isn't the "time table" for such work to have been done elsewhere.
    koolkars likes this.

  4. #24
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    Apr 2011

    Re: John Birk "Dizzy" Gillespie's trumpet

    ......I have the pleasure of owning Dizzy's piccolo trumpet......yes I said piccolo trumpet!!! I attended the Dizzy Gillespie Auction in 2005 or 6,i dont quite recall....and was lucky to get my hands on this horn.... it is a gold plated 3-valved Schilke with the signature tilted is absolutely the finest picc Ive ever played...and YES the tilted bell is an advantage!!!! i "assume" it was a gift at some point from Jon Faddis....but have never been able to get further along with the story of the horn....

    a colleague of mine,says he remembers Diz playing it at a clinic at NTSU

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