Vanderbilt University Acquires Large Collection of Dizzy Gillespie Memorabilia

Vanderbilt’s partnership with the National Museum of African American Music has taken a giant step forward with the university’s inaugural acquisition — a rich collection of portraits, personal scrapbooks, signed albums, and more from the life and career of Dizzy Gillespie, a seminal figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz.

Notable pieces include Gillespie’s personal scrapbooks with hundreds of photographs from his State Department-sponsored tours of the Middle East as America’s First “jazz ambassador.” During the 1950s, he visited Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Pakistan, and Yugoslavia, helping to improve Cold War diplomatic relations through jazz.

“This collection ensures that Vanderbilt will be a destination for future generations of Dizzy Gillespie scholars,” said Vanessa Beasley, vice provost for affairs and dean of residential faculty. “I’m grateful for the strong collaboration with NMAAM, which makes this exciting initiative possible, and eager for researchers, museum patrons, and other community members to engage with these materials.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. Michael says:

    The so-called Black American community Should Not be in the business of willingly sharing its invaluable artifacts to people who have a long confirmed track record of owning and exploiting Black Americans. Shame on you Lonnie G. Bunche III.

  2. Teresa says:

    Pray tell. What do you contribute to the community? It is so easy to be an armchair commentator Good grief. Solutions!!!

    • Michael says:

      Hey ‘teresa’ (small ‘t’ intentional),

      It’s quite apparent you’re a rabid so-called Black neoliberal of the highest order. By the way teresa, you’re not qualified in No Capacity to ask me about “what I contribute to the community”. It’s called intellectual honesty and accountability. I would highly suggest you remove those welded chains from your brain. “Good grief”.

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