A charismatic figure, master arranger, and formidable trombonist, Slide Hampton holds a place of distinction in the jazz tradition. Slide Hampton’s distinguished career spans decades in the evolution of jazz. At the age of 12 he was already touring the Midwest with the Indianapolis-based Hampton Band, led by his father and comprising other members of his musical family. By 1952, at the age of 20, he was performing at Carnegie Hall with the Lionel Hampton Band. He then joined Maynard Ferguson’s band, playing trombone and providing exciting charts on such popular tunes as “The Fugue,” “Three Little Foxes,” and “Slide’s Derangement.”
As his reputation grew, he soon began working with bands led by Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Barry Harris, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, and Max Roach, again contributing both original compositions and arrangements. In 1962, he formed the Slide Hampton Octet, which included stellar horn players Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, and George Coleman. The band toured the U.S. and Europe and recorded on several labels. From 1964 to 1967, he served as music director for various orchestras and artists. Then, following a 1968 tour with Woody Herman, he elected to stay in Europe, performing with other expatriates such as Benny Bailey, Kenny Clarke, Kenny Drew, Art Farmer, and Dexter Gordon. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1977, he began a series of master classes at Harvard, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, De Paul University in Chicago, and Indiana University. During this period he formed the illustrious World of Trombones: an ensemble of nine trombones and a rhythm section.
Slide Hampton’s countless collaborations with the most prominent musicians of jazz were acknowledged by the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Arrangement with a Vocalist. Slide’s arranging talents were acknowledged again when he received the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement. Mr. Hampton was named a NEA Jazz Master in 2005.
Mr. Hampton performed with the Jazz Band Classic at their Carnegie Hall Debut on June 8, 2003.
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