The Portraits

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Lionel Hampton

Artist
Frederick J. Brown, 1945 - 2012
Sitter
Lionel Hampton, 20 Apr 1908 - 31 Aug 2002
Date
1997
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 244.2 x 182.9 x 4.8cm (96 1/8 x 72 x 1 7/8")
Frame: 253.7 x 197.8 x 7cm (99 7/8 x 77 7/8 x 2 3/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on behalf of the People of New York
Restrictions & Rights
© 1997, Frederick J. Brown
Object number
NPG.97.39
Culture
Lionel Hampton: American\African American
Exhibition Label
Lionel Hampton began his musical career as a drummer until Louis Armstrong encouraged him to take up the vibraphone in the early 1930s. Hampton introduced that instrument to the jazz idiom and came to the attention of Benny Goodman in 1936. When Goodman formed the Benny Goodman Quartet, Hampton played "vibes" and went on to direct the group's recordings of such favorites as "Dinah" and "Exactly Like You." In 1940 Goodman disbanded the quartet, and Hampton struck out on his own, incorporating such musicians as Charles Mingus, Quincy Jones, and Charlie Parker into the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. Among the top bands in the country, the orchestra played all the popular clubs, as well as Carnegie Hall and Harlem's Apollo Theatre. Hampton's high-energy spontaneity was legendary: "We got no routine," he once said. "We just act the way the spirit moves us."
Provenance
The artist; gift 1997 NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
Bravo!
On View
NPG, South Gallery 322 Mezzanine
Place
United States\New York\Kings\New York