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The Life of “Diz”: Exploring Dizzy Gillespie

Fall 2021

Mondays 6:30-8:00pm, Nov 1-22
Online Class

REGISTER NOW through October 25.  $100.

This four week online interactive workshop will focus on legendary trumpeter, composer, and bandleader John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie. He was a virtuoso improviser whose approach to trumpet playing, harmonic improvisation, and big band arranging remain key parts of the jazz lexicon today. In this class, we’ll take an in-depth look at Gillespie’s pivotal role in bebop and Afro-Cuban jazz, as well as his importance as a cultural ambassador, educator, and promoter of jazz.

Part of a series of virtual workshops taught by Dr. Kelsey Klotz, this is a perfect complement to the informative course series, as well as an excellent stand-alone deep dive for the Dizzie Gillespie fan in you.

Technical requirements:

  • Access to reliable wireless internet and computer. Zoom will be the platform used for this course.
  • Note:  classes are recorded for the purposes of sharing with participants if desired.

Instructor Bio:

Dr. Kelsey Klotz is a lecturer in UNC Charlotte’s Department of Music. In 2016, Dr. Klotz earned her PhD in musicology from Washington University in St. Louis, where she also earned a graduate certificate in American Culture Studies, and was awarded Washington University’s Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Klotz received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, with a piano concentration, from Truman State University.

As an educator, Dr. Klotz teaches critical listening as a method for musical analysis and encountering perspectives different from one’s own. Dr. Klotz is currently working on a book manuscript titled Dave Brubeck and the Performance of Whiteness, which examines white cool jazz pianist Dave Brubeck’s career, music, and reception in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr. Klotz has presented her research at meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Society for American Music, the American Studies Association, the American Studies Association, the Feminist Theory in Music conference, and various regional meetings. In 2016, she received the Charles Seeger Prize for the best student paper at the 2015 national meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Her work has been supported by the Brubeck Travel Grant, the Berger-Carter Jazz Research Grant, and the Dissertation Fellowship from Washington University’s Center for the Humanities.


Registration is open now through October 25.

$100 for the full session (includes $15 non-refundable registration fee)

Payment and Refund Policy

Tuition is due at the time of registration. Full payment may be made by check, money order or credit card. A full refund will be granted up to one week before the first program day – minus a $15.00 registration fee.

Questions? Call the JazzArts Academy at 704-334-3900 or email at

Special Thanks to our program sponsors

Infusion Fund, North Carolina Arts Council, Doris Duke Foundation, Knight Foundation, Charlotte Woman’s Club, and Akers Foundation.

charlotte womens club
Akers Foundation Logo

Instructor:  Dr. Kelsey Klotz

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