Did Dizzy Gillespie have cheek muscle damage?

My Father told me this as an explanation of his blown up cheeks when he played.

Wikipedia and Google have failed me(or I have failed them).

Why did his cheeks blow up like that? Muscle damage?

Gillespie himself had no idea why it happened. In a biography by Tony Gentry he said “I didn’t get any physical pain from it but all of a sudden, I looked like a frog whenever I played.”

I don’t think there’s a lot of mystery involved. He didn’t hold his cheeks in when he played so by default they eventually got bigger from being extended over and over.

He had a disease called Gillespie Cheeks http://everything2.com/title/Gillespie+Pouches which was named after him. It is caused by incorrect blowing technique.

I don’t think there is any evidence that the content of that information is true. Gillespie had a series of different teachers as a child and I have never seen it hinted that his technique was faulty. His 6th grade principal was a cornet player, he learned from a teacher who formed the first band he played in and at Laurinburg high school he was taught by Sylvester Hall who played solo trumpet at the 1919 World’s Fair. He had also learned trombone.

Actually here is a piece that states:

*One memorable trademark was that he distended his cheeks while playing. Some may believe this was due to poor technique, but this is not the case and is in fact a result of muscle tissue damage.1
The footnote cites:

*1Kaye, Bernard I. (1982) of the Orbicularis Oris in Trumpet Players (Satchmo’s Syndrome) (Discussion). Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. *

“Orbicularis Oris” and “Satchmo’s syndrome” are very cool names for a pathology.

Or bands.

Back in the 70s Dizzy did a 60 Minutes interview, which is how I knew that the disease was named Gillespie Cheeks and was able to bring my Google Fu to bear.

Satchmo syndrome may be, but orbicularis oris is just the name for the sphincter (round muscle) around the mouth, therefore not a pathology.

Still cool sounding, though.