Each year, as the South Carolina Jazz Festival continues to grow, the traditions become more embedded into our local musical heritage. Each year, more primary students, and maybe trivia players, will remember that Dizzy’s real name was John Birks Gillespie. Each year, another child is inspired to learn a musical instrument or a new dance. And each year, we are reminded of who we are and where we’re from, as we gather in the streets to listen and dance to the music that took one of our native sons around the world.
Now, we are reminded by the newest sculpture at Dizzy’s Homesite Park, of how he felt about Cheraw. The sculpture, inspired by students of Long Middle School and crafted by Bob Doster, repeats what he often said as he introduced his own style of music to the world. “My name is Dizzy Gillespie, and I’m from Cheraw, South Carolina.”
Happy Birthday, Dizzy!