Top 10 Reasons to Attend the 2010 Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival

Monday, February 8 2010

Written by Becca Johnson and Joni Kirk
MOSCOW, Idaho – Not yet bought tickets for the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival? Following are the top 10 reasons to be part of the world's top educational jazz festival in 2010:

1. Performances by Grammy Award Nominees and Recipients

The Grammy Awards are held up as the top awards for National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival Artistic Director John Clayton has received numerous nominations and Grammy's from this prestigious body. His son, Gerald Clayton, was nominated this year for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for the song "All of You" on his trio's album. And the Clayton Brothers were nominated this year for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group. Artists performing at this year's festival who have previously been nominated and/or received Grammy Awards include at All-Star Quartet drummer Kevin Kanner; trumpet player Terell Stafford; jazz guitarist, vocalist and bandleader John Pizzarelli; and legendary musician Taj Mahal.

2. Dee Daniels Leads Community Choir for Friday Evening Concert

For more than three decades, Daniels has dominated the jazz and symphony pops vocal scene with her rich background in blues and gospel music. In her special role as long-time friend, festival mentor and educator, Daniels will lead a choir comprised of community members. She has been working closely with University of Idaho music professor Dan Bukvich to organize the choir – named the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Gospel Choir. Showcasing the sacred roots of jazz, the experience will be unforgettable.

3. New College Day Experience

This year, the College Day now will take place on Wednesday, and the Elementary School Day will take place on Thursday. The day change right-sizes the demographic focus, since college participation in first-day events and ticket sales were historically small. This change will allow the festival to build momentum throughout the four days, culminating with the finale on Saturday evening. In addition to the new day, the College Day evening concert will take place in the University of Idaho’s newly renovated International Ballroom in the Student Union Building. This concert has a very intimate feel to it. By moving it to the ballroom, the festival will create an atmosphere better tailored to that evening concert's style.

4. College Day Hamp's Club at a Local Restaurant

Following the Wednesday evening concert, selected college soloists from the day's performances will perform at Hamp's Club. Traditionally, Hamp's Club has been held in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center in an area set up to resemble a club. This year, the College Day event has been moved to nearby Gambino's restaurant, and artists will perform for the restaurant's customers. The event is open to the public.

5. Lionel Hampton Big Band Music Receives Second Life

For the third consecutive year, John Clayton has funded a project to expand and improve the Lionel Hampton Big Band library at the University of Idaho. The project accomplishes more than library enhancements; it provides a tremendous opportunity for a qualified and deserving student. Each year, a cash award of $1,000 supports a student in the task of producing the needed score and parts of a vintage Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival piece. Achieving this task is not an easy feat. The student must listen to a vintage Lionel Hampton Big Band recording, reproduce in written musical form and transfer onto a score page – a daunting task for most artists. The student must transcribe four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, piano, bass, drums and vibes – all playing simultaneously. This year, a University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music student was chosen for this prestigious honor. On Saturday night, the project, the student and the library will converge as the vintage piece will be premiered – performed by the Lionel Hampton Big Band.

6. Community Kick-Off Event at Prichard Art Gallery

The Chamber of Commerce and the University of Idaho's Prichard Art Gallery will join forces in downtown Moscow for a community kick-off event on Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Prichard Art Gallery, 414/416 S. Main St. on the corner of Fifth and Main streets in downtown Moscow. It coincides with the opening of the Prichard Art Gallery's exhibit, "SLAG: The Anti Art Glass," which was created to expand perceptions of “glass art." SLAG is the single most important exhibit the gallery has ever done and will be displayed until April 10. The exhibit was funded by a grant from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation in New Mexico. Admission is free, and includes a no-host bar and hors d’oeuvres.

7. Dance Artist and Workshops

Jazz dance artist Sherry Zunker joins the festival this year to teach advanced jazz technique, jazz festival movement clinics, a jazz dance teacher’s workshop and more. Zunker has set her works with The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and Aspen Ballet and has staged numbers for musical productions, commercials, music videos, live industrial shows, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line productions. Her participation is funded by a $5,000 grant from The Inland Northwest Community Foundation’s Florence Wasmer Fund for Arts and Culture.

8. Webcasting Young Artist Concerts

Many students attending the festival travel with their schools. Now, parents don't have to miss their children's performances. The festival will have live Webcasts of all the young artist concerts and Hamp's Club performances. The Webcast is available at

9. Ray Brown Featured for International Jazz Collections Exhibit

The University of Idaho Library houses the International Jazz Collections, one of the eminent jazz collections in the world. An annual exhibit featuring artifacts from the IJC will this year showcase the music, instruments and history of trombonist Al Grey from the Al Grey/Rosalie Soladar collection; and bassist Ray Brown, from other IJC collections. The display illuminates the impact of these icons of jazz in the realm of music, and their role in the fight for racial equality. The exhibit will be displayed on the first floor of the Library beginning Friday, Feb. 19.

10. The Living Legacy of Lionel Hampton

Lionel Hampton and the University of Idaho shared a vision about the power of jazz and education to bridge cultures, inspire creativity, and develop the musical leadership abilities of the next generation of jazz leaders. Now, 43 years after the festival opened its doors, it maintains its focus as being a place that helps students learn to love jazz and keep it alive. Thousands of students come to the festival to be active participants: to perform, to be coached, to have lessons and to learn. The festival's many clinics and workshops are important because they serve as tools for teachers and learning experiences for students. Festival artists and educators work with students and teachers to fine-tune their skills, and provide input and direction to help them solve problems and launch them to the next stage in the musical experience.

The 2010 Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival will take place Feb. 24-27. For more information, visit or call (208) 885-5900.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit