Jazz great Lionel Hampton, a native of Louisville, came home to Kentucky in 1998 for an In Performance session that included his eight-member big band.
The vibraphonist was born in Louisville in 1908 but moved to Wisconsin when he was still quite young. Nonetheless, he often returned to Louisville, where he performed frequently during the 1940s at the legendary Madrid Ballroom.
Trained as a drummer, Hampton eventually adopted the vibraphone, transforming what had been a carnival instrument into a mainstay of jazz. During his 70-plus-year career, he performed with virtually all of the jazz greats, including Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Billie Holiday, and Dinah Washington. The first jazz musician to appear at the White House, he performed for every president from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton.
Lionel Hampton died on August 31, 2002 at the age of 94.