Today would have been the band leader's 93rd birthday, and even companies like Google are celebrating his massive influence by generating a mosaic of Gillespie on their homepage.
Dizzy Gillespie, who passed away on Jan. 6, 1993 at the age of 75, began playing piano when he was only 4-years-old. By the age of 12, he had already taught himself how to play the trumpet and trombone and had aspirations of becoming a famous jazz musician.
Throughout the 1940's and 1950's, Gillespie became a prominent jazz composer and performer and became known for a sound that diverged from the norm at that time. Gillespie's influence continues today, especially with songs such as 'A Night in Tunisia,' which is noted for having a non-walking bass line and has gone down in history as a jazz staple.
His trumpet is just as famous as Gillespie himself, which is bent upward at a 45 degree angle. The trumpet produced a more constricted sound and is now housed in the Smithsonian Museum. With a career that spanned for more than half a century, there is no doubt that Gillespie will always be recognized as an American icon.
Watch Dizzy Gillespie and his band perform 'A Night in Tunisia.'