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Music jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, bandleader and actor Lionel Hampton picture(s)/pic(s), wallpaper and photo gallery.
Birth name: Lionel Leo Hampton.
Also known as: "Hamp", "Mad Lionel".
Born: April 20, 1908 Birmingham, Alabama USA.
Died: August 31, 2002 (aged 94) New York City, USA (congestive heart failure).

Lionel Hampton biography (bio):
Lionel Leo Hampton was an American jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. Like Red Norvo, he was one of the first real jazz vibraphone players. "Hamp" ranks among the great names in jazz history, having worked with a who's who of jazz musicians, from Benny Goodman and Buddy Rich to Charlie Parker and Quincy Jones.

Early life:
Lionel Hampton was born in either Birmingham, Alabama or Louisville, Kentucky in 1908 and was raised by his grandmother, but spent his youth in Kenosha, Wisconsin before he and his family moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1916. Please see the talk page for details on the confusion over his birthplace. As a child Hampton was a member of the Bud Billiken Club, an alternative to the Boy Scouts of America due to segregation. During the 1920swhile still a teenagerHampton took xylophone lessons and started playing drums. Hampton was raised Roman Catholic, and started out playing fife drum at the Holy Rosary Academy near Chicago.

Early career:
Hampton began his career playing drums for the Chicago Defender Newsboy's Band while still a teenager in Chicago, a group that was led by a Major N. Clark Smith. He moved to California in 1927 or 1928, playing drums for the Dixieland Blue-Blowers. He made his recording debut with The Quality Serenaders led by Paul Howard, then left for Culver City and drummed for the Les Hite band at Sebastian's Cotton Club. During this period he began practicing on the vibraphone. In 1930 Louis Armstrong came to California and hired the Les Hite band, asking Hampton if he would play vibes on two songs. So began his career as a vibraphonist, popularizing the use of the instrument ever since.
While working with the Les Hite band, Hampton also occasionally did some performing with Nat Shilkrer and his orchestra. During the early 1930s he studied music at the University of Southern California. In 1934 he led his own orchestra, and then appeared in the 1936 Bing Crosby film Pennies From Heaven alongside Louis Armstrong (wearing a mask in a scene while playing drums).

With Benny Goodman:
Also in November of 1936, the Benny Goodman Orchestra came to Los Angeles to play the Palomar Ballroom. John Hammond brought Goodman to see Hampton play. Goodman asked Hampton to join the Benny Goodman Trio, made up of Goodman, Teddy Wilson, and Gene Krupa, expanding it into the Benny Goodman Quartet. In 1935 Hampton backed Billie Holiday with the Goodman orchestra, who was discovered by John Hammond in 1933. The Trio and Quartet were among the first racially integrated jazz groups to record and play before wide audiences.
While Hampton worked for Goodman in New York, he recorded with several different small groups known as the Lionel Hampton Orchestra as well as assorted small groups within the Goodman band. In 1940 Hampton left the Goodman organization under amicable circumstances to form his own big band.

Lionel Hampton Orchestra:
Hampton's orchestra became very popular during the 1940s and early 1950s. His third recording with them in 1942 produced a classic version of "Flying Home", featuring a solo by Illinois Jacquet that paved the way for Rhythm & Blues. The selection became very popular, and so in 1944 Hampton recorded "Flying Home, Number Two" featuring Arnett Cobb. The song went on to become the theme song for all three men.
Hampton's band played in a jazz, merged with rhythm & blues vein from around 1945 to the early 1950s. Represented in recordings on Decca Records, the band included performers that achieved renown in their own right in the 1950s and 1960s, composer and bassist Charles Mingus, saxophonist Johnny Griffin, guitarist Wes Montgomery, vocalist Dinah Washington and keyboardist Milt Buckner. Other noteworthy performers in the orchestra then included trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, Cat Anderson, Kenny Dorham and Snooky Young, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland and saxophonists Illinois Jacquet and Jerome Richardson.
In 1953 the orchestra toured Europe with Clifford Brown, Gigi Gryce, George Wallington and Art Farmer in his lineup; Quincy Jones was arranger/trumpeter and Annie Ross sang. Hampton was also a sideman on many recordings during the 1940s and 1950s, performing and recording with Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum and Buddy DeFranco.

Later career:
During the 1960s the public success of Hampton-led groups began to decline. The times were changing, and he was still performing what worked for him during the '30s, '40s, and '50s. He did not fare much better in the '70s, though he recorded actively on the Who's Who Record label.
Beginning in February 1984, Hampton and his band played at the University of Idaho's annual jazz festival, which was renamed the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival the following year. In 1987 the UI's school of music was renamed for Hampton, the first and only university music school to be named for a jazz musician.
Hampton remained active until a stroke in Paris in 1991 forced him to collapse on stage. That incident, combined with years of chronic arthritis, forced him to cut back drastically on performances. However, he did play at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2001 shortly before his death.

Personal life:
During the 1950s he had a strong interest in Judaism and raised money for Israel. In 1953 he composed a King David suite and performed it in Israel with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Later in life Hampton became a Christian Scientist. Hampton's wife was his manager throughout much of his career. Many musicians recall that Lionel ran the music and Gladys ran the business. Hampton was a Thirty-three degree Prince Hall freemason in New York, also.
Lionel Hampton died from congestive heart failure on August 31, 2002 in New York City, and is interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York. His funeral was held on September 7, 2002 and featured a performance by Wynton Marsalis and David Ostwald's Gully Low Jazz Band at Riverside Church in Manhattan; the procession began at The Cotton Club in Harlem. Late in 2001 his apartment caught fire and destroyed his awards and belongings; Hampton escaped uninjured.

Other endeavors:

Housing projects:
Hampton was deeply involved in the construction of various public housing projects, and founded the Lionel Hampton Development Corporation. Construction began with the Lionel Hampton Houses in Harlem, New York in the 1960s, with the help of then Republican governor Nelson Rockefeller. Hampton's wifeGladys Hamptonalso was very involved in construction of a housing project in her namethe Gladys Hampton Houses. Gladys died in 1971. In the 1980s, Hampton built another Housing project called Hampton Hills in Newark, New Jersey. Hampton was a staunch Republican and served as a delegate to several Republican National Conventions during his lifetime. He served as Vice-Chairman of the New York Republican County Committee for some years and also was a member of the New York City Human Rights Commission.
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