This is a $250 scholarship awarded to a freshman jazz trumpeter from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, or Illinois with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (1917–1993) was a pioneering jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer who played a crucial role in the evolution of bebop (along with Charlie Parker), Afro-Cuban, and modern jazz. Nicknamed “the Ambassador of Jazz,” Gillespie started his career playing and composing for such luminaries as Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Dorsey, and Woody Herman before leading his own ensemble. Over the years he directly taught or influenced scores of musicians, including Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Lee Morgan, Arturo Sandoval, and Clifford Brown. Members of his various combos included John Coltrane, Milt Jackson, Lalo Schifrin, Kenny Clark, J.J. Johnson, and Yusef Lateef.
The Dizzy Gillespie Scholarship is sponsored by H. Wade Johnson (M.M.Ed. 2001), an accomplished trumpeter who often played with fellow South Carolinian Gillespie.