Sunday, September 27, 2009

FYI--Dizzy Gillespie Legacy

The late jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie did not only leave us with his be-bop-Latin jazz fusion, but in his memory, a fund to help ailing musicians with healthcare costs was also established. When the jazz musician was dying from pancreatic cancer at the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey, he told his oncologist, Dr. Forte, "I can't give you any money, but I can let you use my name. Promise you'll help musicians less fortunate than I am."

According to the liner notes for The Complete Joao Gilberto Songbook (CD, Motema), "In late 1993, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Foundation honored his request by establishing the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund which raises money to help underwrite the costs of hospitalization, diagnostic tests...for jazz musicians in need, but unable to pay."

Dr. Forte organized physicians to give free care to musicians both at offices and at home.

To learn more about this fund, go to

If you would like to donate to the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund, make out and send a check to:

The Englewood Hospital & Medical Center Foundation (DG Fund),

350 Engle Street, Englewood, NJ 07361

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