In 1971 at Dartmouth College, Dizzy Gillespie and the Mitchell-Ruff Duo played together for the first time ever, although Dizzy's various bands had shared the stage with the Duo many times at New York's Birdland, and at other venues. Indirectly, Duke Ellington was responsible for the Dartmouth event, for some months earlier he had established a scholarship at Juilliard to honor Billy Strayhorn, who had died in 1967. For that, Ellington enlisted Lena Horne, Tony Bennett and a brilliant constellation of jazz luminaries to join him and his orchestra on stage at Lincoln Center. But Ellington also called me, Say, he said, since Strayhorn's last composition was the Suite for your Duo, you fellows should play it at this concert. What better tribute to the man we all loved? I noted that missing from the lineup was Dizzy, to which Duke replied, He was already booked for an out of town engagement when I called him the other day. But when the big night rolled around and Mitchell and I had finished the Strayhorn Suite, none other than Dizzy bursts through the backstage door. Grabbing Mitchell and me in a bear hug of crushing strength, he said, Boy, I gave a taxi driver a BIG tip to get me here from the airport. I heard that glorious Suite. What a tribute to you guys! Why haven't the three of us ever worked together? I m ready, right now! My chance to make that happen came when Dartmouth College invited Mitchell and me to be artists in residence. When we invited Dizzy to join us in a public concert, I could not have known that it would be the beginning of a relationship that would last to the end of his busy days.