Dizzy History

Cheraw is Dizzy with Jazz
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John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie

Not many towns can boast of having a native son that was invited to perform at the White House by eight presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George Bush.

Jazz king John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was born in Cheraw in 1917. “Dizzy” was a founder of modern jazz, an innovative trumpeter known for his bent horn, bulging cheeks and sense of humor. Gillespie, who was famous around the world, almost always opened his performances with “I’m Dizzy Gillespie from Chee-raw, South Carolina.”

On the 85th anniversary of his birth, a seven-foot bronze statue of Gillespie playing his trademark bent horn was erected on the Cheraw Town Green. The Dizzy Gillespie Home Site Park also celebrates Cheraw’s most famous son. The park features modern sculpture, eclectic stainless steel benches and a funky stainless steel fence.

South Carolina Jazz Festival October 19-21, 2018.

Make your plans now to join jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie’s historic hometown of Cheraw at the South Carolina Jazz Festival October 19-21, 2018.

Over 20 regional musical artists from the Carolinas will perform in an eclectic collection of venues. Add a Bebop Parade, Evening & Late Night Jazz Restaurant Venues, the Dizzy Gillespie Scholarship Golf Tournament, a Birthday Party for Dizzy, kids’ art activities, Madonnari Chalk Competition, a Jazz Mass and much more while you experience the joy of jazz from your head down to your toes! As Dizzy would say, “Bebop on down to Chee-raw, South Carolina.”

Tickets will be available at the Market Hall ticket venue
During the festival weekend, tickets and souvenirs will be available at Market Hall (corner of Market and Second Streets) Friday 2:00 pm-6:30 pm and Saturday 10:00 am-6:30 pm. Call 843-537-8420 ext. 12 for more information.

On the 85th anniversary of his birth, a seven-foot bronze statue of Gillespie playing his trademark bent horn was erected on the Cheraw Town Green. The Dizzy Gillespie Home Site Park also celebrates Cheraw’s most famous son. The park features modern sculpture, eclectic stainless steel benches and a funky stainless steel fence.

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