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Gillespie and Google? What Gives Dizzy?

Today, October 21, 2010 is the 93rd birthday of the late jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie and if you have used the Google search engine today you have probably noticed a colorful caricture of Dizzy somewhere on the page... further detailed explanation can be found on Matt Schudel's Washington Post article by clicking here to get the backstory on this amalgamation of Gillespie's image and Google's "doodle" art. Dizzy's signature trumpet design where the bell was turned up at a 45-degree angle came about as a result of an accident on January 6th, 1953 during a party at a club located on West 45th Street in Manhattan, New York known as Snookie's. One of the members of the dance team "Stump 'n' Stumpy" had fallen on Dizzy's intrument leaving the trumpet bell bent at 45 degree angle. Later he had it straightened, but discovered with the bell turned up he could hear himself better. In reading the Washington Post article, I don't quite agree with Schudel's assessment that as he states, "It's sad that jazz has become such a marginal part of modern life". You need to stop by some of the jazz clubs here in Chicago Mr. Schudel...jazz is alive and well here and becoming very vibrant again as clubs, restaurants and eateries begin to climb out of this economic slump we've been in...and it seems the demand for more live music is on the upswing. Many jazz CDs continue to be released and the artistry of jazz pervades the air here, especially on the weekends and midweek. This is not the first Google doodle as Google has featured several in the past few years. The very first one appeared during the summer of 1998. The current Google doodler is Dennis Hwang who has done about 150 so far since since his first one in July 2000 for Bastille Day.

(Photos: Dizzy Gillespie by Roland Godefroy and Dennis Hwang by James G.(Boram) Kim)

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