In November 1942, 25-year-old trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie is in Philadelphia leading his own quartet for a 7-week engagement at the Downbeat Club. He’s just been fired by Lucky Millinder after a stint at the famed Earle Theatre at 11th and Market Streets—right around the corner. It’s war time, and big band swing is still the rage, but Gillespie has been experimenting with a new approach to music, something most people don’t even know about yet... something we now call call bebop. Diz is anxious to play and tell you a lot about Philadelphia jazz—back in the day.
Find out what happened in Philly Jazz history when Last Call at the Downbeat returns to the Society Hill Playhouse the first two weekends in April. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8:00 PM on the 4th, 5th, 11th & 12th, while there are convenient 2:00 PM Sunday matinees on the 6th & 13th. Tickets are $25.00 each and you can pick them up at the theater’s “will-call” box office (no shipping). Group rates also available.
Music - Duane Eubanks; Storyteller - Charlie Rice; Book - Suzanne Cloud; Set Designer - Ryan Long; Videography - Jason Fifield; Choreography - Germaine Ingram; Dizzy - Gavin Whitt.
Last Call at the Downbeat is partially funded by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Philadelphia Jazz Project.