Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Big Band
Lionel Hampton was always a lightning rod for exceptional talent. He discovered, nurtured and trained some of the most talented jazz musicians over the last 60 years and employed many of them in the Lionel Hampton Big Band, including Benny Golson, Quincy Jones, Wed Montgomery, Clark Terry, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Mingus, Cat Anderson, Ernie Royal, Joe Newman, Dinah Washington, Joe Williams, Fats Navarro and Illinois Jacquet — the soloist on Hamp’s hit song from 1942, “Flying Home.” His protégés included Betty Carter and Aretha Franklin.
The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Big Band will feature Jason Marsalis, vocalist and U of I jazz instructor Kate Skinner, and Tanya Darby, lead trumpet and assistant professor at the University of North Texas. Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival artistic advisor Vern Sielert, and Skinner will be writing original works that will debut at the festival.