"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Monday, November 13, 2017

Dizzy Gillespie

This 1988 portrait of Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) by Marc Klionsky hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
“In the early 1940s, the young jazz trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie began meeting with several other musicians, including Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker, at a New York nightclub to explore a new form of musical expression. Out of these sessions came the infectious energy of bebop, with Gillespie as one of its pioneers and eventually its elder statesman. Aimed at evolving jazz out of its earlier swing mode, the new music initially offended some jazz traditionalists but ultimately found a niche in the popular-music mainstream. In the 1970s a critic proclaimed Gillespie ‘the world's greatest trumpet [player] in or out of jazz.’ His interest in African American culture is reflected in this portrait, where artist Marc Klionsky following conversations with the musician about his heritage flanked Gillespie with African masks.” – National Portrait Gallery

 Marc Klionsky '88

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