More than four hundred items - the most notable of which are Gillespie's trumpet and saxophones played by Coltrane and Parker - have been put up for sale by the families of the jazz greats.
A substantial portion of the proceeds will be donated to jazz foundations offering scholarships to promising young musicians.
Organiser ARLAN ETTINGER describes the event at New York's Time Warner Center as, "The first truly major auction focusing on jazz."
Ettinger predicts the instruments belonging to Parker and Coltrane could each fetch in excess of $1 million (GBP526,000). He says of Parker's saxophone, "It has his name engraved on it. He's pictured in hundreds of photographs with it."
Other notable lots in the catalogue include a gown worn by PEGGY LEE when she sang FEVER, a smoking jacket belonging to THELONIUS MONK and a 27-page letter handwritten by Armstrong.19/01/2005 17:02