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Dizzy Gillespie Home Site Park

100 Huger St.
Cheraw, SC 29520
(843) 537-8425 or (888) 537-0014

Cheraw's Dizzy Gillespie Home Site Park celebrates the life of the "King of Jazz". It features eclectic steel benches and a trumpet sculpture designed by Cheraw students under the direction of South Carolina artist Bob Doster who also fashioned the stainless steel fence depicting the score of "Salt Peanuts". A South Carolina Historic Marker details highlights of his life. The inscription reads "John Birks 'Dizzy' Gillespie" was born in a house on this site on Oct. 21, 1917. His family lived here until they moved to Philadelphia in 1935. A founder of modern jazz, Gillespie was an innovative trumpeter and bandleader known for his bent horn, bulging cheeks, sense of humor, and showmanship. In the 1950s he became a good will ambassador for the US State Department, playing concerts around the world. Gillespie was invited to perform at the White House by eight presidents from Eisenhower to George Bush. He received the National Medal of Arts, the highest prize awarded to an American artist, in 1989 and received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1990 for his lifetime contributions to American culture. Among his best‑known songs were a "A Night In Tunisia" and "Salt Peanuts". He died in New Jersey Jan. 6, 1993. Cheraw also celebrates Dizzy's life with the South Carolina Jazz Festival the third weekend in October. For more information or a free self guide to Dizzy Gillespie related sites, contact the Cheraw Visitors Bureau.