The trumpet pioneer of bop, Dizzy was one of a small group of people who defined an entire generation of music. That style featured his furious playing, alternating between infectiously simple and complex high speed phrases.
He began studying the playing of Roy Eldridge. In 1937 he moved to New York and became a session player. In 1940 he met Charlie Parker in Kansas City. They developed bebop playing in after-hours jam sessions with Kenny Clarke, Thelonious Monk and Max Roach.
His first bebop recording was in 1944 with Coleman Hawkins. A year later he recorded with Parker. Some of his famous compositions include 'Salt Peanuts', 'Woody 'N You' and 'Shaw Nuff'. [source]
Gillespie described be-bop as music with a different accent, " ... on the up beat. Instead of OO-bah, it's oo-BAH. Different chords too." [source]
They're not particular about whether you're playing a flatted fifth or a ruptured 129th as long as they can dance to it. [source]
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was born on 21 October 1917. Happy birthday to him.