Lionel Hampton Big Band
African-American Jazz great Lionel Hampton popularized the vibraphone and played with the racially integrated Benny Goodman Quartet before becoming a successful bandleader in his own right. Born in 1908, he was a Jazz drummer before turning his attention to the vibraphone, and forming his own orchestra in 1940.
The orchestra became renowned for such hits as “Flying Home,” “Hamp’s Boogie-Woogie,” and “Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop.” The energetic bandleader made sure he was surrounded by strong supporting talent, featuring artists like Illinois Jacquet, Quincy Jones, Charles Mingus, Dinah Washington, Aretha Franklin and more.
In the 1950s Lionel Hampton toured throughout the world as a good will ambassador and made frequent appearances on television. He continued to perform and tour into his 90s, and was showered with awards including the National Medal of the Arts.
The Lionel Hampton Big Band is comprised mainly of musicians who played with Lionel Hampton himself. The Lionel Hampton Estate, eager to have the Big Band reactivated, granted permission in March of 2015 to launch the new Lionel Hampton Big Band featuring Jason Marsalis, with Christian Fabian, Cleave Guyton Jr and Lance Bryant as co-leaders.
Jason Marsalis is the youngest member of the renowned Marsalis Jazz family: his father Ellis, his brothers Wynton, Branford and Delfeayo. The co-leaders of the Band all played with Lionel Hampton: Cleave Guyton Jr, Lance Bryant and Christian Fabian.
Lance Bryant was the Lionel Hampton Orchestra Musical Director and Principal Arranger, Cleave Guyton Jr was the last Musical Director of the Band, and Christian Fabian remains the Bass Chair of the last Big Band led by Lionel Hampton.
The Band has been playing to sold-out shows from New York to California, with audiences clamoring for encores, and clubs asking them back. Everyone who hears Lionel Hampton Big Band is excited and inspired by the music, from 21-year old students to 94-year-old Jazz aficionados.
SHU Students with University ID – Free
SHU Faculty, SHU Staff, Non-SHU Students – $8
Senior Citizens & SHU Alumni – $15
Regular Admission – $25
(Admission includes SOPAC facility fee)