John Birks

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie


Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was a jazz musician who pioneered the style of bebop in the 1940s. This book, written for middle grade readers, chronicles Dizzy’s life, starting with his childhood in Cheraw, South Carolina and the racism he faced during this time. We hear how one of Dizzy’s teachers encouraged him to play trumpet, and how this playing provided an escape from constant racial prejudice. We learn how Dizzy got his start as a musician in the Teddy Hill Band, the impact he made on jazz and bebop, and the many travels around the world he made before his passing on January 6, 1993. Readers will gain an appreciation of the legacy of Dizzy Gillespie and the impact he made on jazz, bebop, and music as a whole.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781618511539
Publisher: Baha'i Publishing Trust, U.S.
Publication date: 02/25/2020
Series: Change Maker Series
Pages: 90
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Susan Engle earned a BFA in Theater Arts from Denison University in 1972—which included an apprenticeship at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City—and began to work as a stage manager for the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra the following year. After her twin daughters were born in 1973, Susan began writing songs and poems for children. In partnership with friends and family, she published more than seventy over the years, including several award-winning music CDs such as Come and Sing and Loving Hands that were written especially for children and families. Since her retirement in 2017, Susan has been writing and publishing tiny books. To see them and read her poetry, visit

Luthando Mazibuko has previously illustrated Mema Says Good-Bye by Cynthia Jaskwhich and How Riley Tamed the Invisible Monster by Dawn Garrott. He has had a passion for drawing since his early childhood in South Africa and holds a BFA in illustration from Northern Illinois University and an MAT in fine art from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xiii

1 Where the Music Began 1

2 Dark Days 11

3 A Real Band! 21

4 Cruel Lessons Learned 29

5 Away from Home 37

6 Getting Started with Jazz in Philadelphia 47

7 The Next Stop on the Journey 55

8 Bebop! 67

9 Playing Around the Globe 79

10 Seeing the World-and Jazz-through New Eyes 89

11 Dizzying Heights 99

Timeline 109

Notes 113

Performances of Dizzy Gillespie Available Online 121

Bibliography 123

Customer Reviews