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Baha’i Center Honors Diz

On January 6 the auditorium in the New York City Baha’i Center will be dedicated in the name of Dizzy Gillespie. The recently completed performance space will take Dizzy’s more formal birth name and be called John Birks Gillespie Auditorium. The dedication takes place on the eleventh anniversary of Gillespie’s death. Gillespie joined the New York Baha’i community late in life, but became one of its major spokespeople and dreamed of having his music played at the Baha’i Center. For those not in the know, Baha’i is a modern religion, derived from Babism, that encourages brotherhood and social equality.

Pianist and former Gillespie collaborator Mike Longo will play the first show in the space under its new name with his New York State of the Art Jazz Ensemble, a 17-piece big band. If you can’t make it that night, don’t fret. Longo will play at the Baha’i Center most Tuesdays. Here’s a schedule of upcoming performances at the Gillespie Auditorium:

Jan. 6, 13, and 27 • Mike Longo’s New York State of the Art Jazz Ensemble

Jan. 20 • Wally Dunbar’s Jazz Eleven

Feb. 3 • an all-star group of Lionel Hampton’s alumni

Feb 10 • Joe Magnarelli and the Mike Longo Trio

Feb. 17 • John Clark and the Mike Longo Trio

March 9 • Nabate Isles and the Mike Longo Trio

Originally Published