The National Portrait Gallery is open to the public Wed - Sun, with timed-entry passes required for all visitors. On-site tours and events are currently suspended and all public programs will be online
IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and media viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. Visit the IIIF page to learn more.
Usage Conditions Apply
Andre Da Miano, 3 Jun 1908 - ?
Lionel Hampton, 20 Apr 1908 - 31 Aug 2002
Gelatin silver print
Image: 25.9 x 33.9 cm (10 3/16 x 13 3/8")
Sheet: 25.9 x 33.9 cm (10 3/16 x 13 3/8")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Lionel Hampton began his musical career as a drummer in Les Hite's band, but that changed in the early 1930s, when he tried playing a vibraphone in an idle moment at a recording session. The vibraphone was soon his instrument of choice, and over the next several years, his skill on it earned it a significant place in the jazz idiom. In 1940, after playing for four years with the Benny Goodman Quartet, Hampton formed his own band. Claiming a roster of musicians that included such jazz notables as Quincy Jones and Charlie Mingus, the group became one of America's most highly regarded big bands. Hampton's most endearing trait was his high-energy spontaneity that sometimes raised audience enthusiasm to a fever pitch. "We got no routine," he once said, "We just act the way the spirit moves us."