Slide Hampton Biography
Slide Hampton was born in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. Laura and Clarke “Deacon” Hampton raised 12 children, taught them how to play musical instruments and set out with them as a family band. The family first came to Indianapolis in 1938. The Hamptons were a very musical family in which mother, father, eight brothers, and four sisters all played instruments. Slide Hampton is one of the few left-handed trombone players. Although not naturally left-handed, as a child Hampton received a left-handed instrument from his father; as no one ever dissuaded him, he continued to play this way.
At the age of 12, Slide played in his family’s Indianapolis jazz band, The Duke Hampton Band. By 1952, at the age of 20, he was performing at Carnegie Hall with the Lionel Hampton Band. He played with the Buddy Johnson’s R&B band from 1955-1956, then became a member of the Maynard Ferguson’s band (1957-1959), where he played and arranged, providing excitement on such popular tunes as ”The Fugue,” ”Three Little Foxes” and ”Slides Derangement.” In 1958, he recorded with trombone masters on the classic release of Melba Liston, ”Melba Liston and Her ’Bones”. As his reputation grew, he soon began working with bands led by Art Blakey, Tadd Dameron in 1969, Barry Harris, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, and Max Roach, contributing both original compositions and arrangements. In 1962, he formed the Slide Hampton Octet, with horn players Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, and George Coleman. The band toured the U.S. and Europe and recorded on several labels.
In 1968 he toured with Woody Herman orchestra, settling in Europe where he remained until 1977. He taught at Harvard, artist-in-residence in 1981, the University of Massachusetts, De Paul University in Chicago, and Indiana State University. During this period he led his own nine-trombone, three-rhythm band, World of Trombones, co-led Continuum (a quintet with Jimmy Heath that plays the music of Tadd Dameron), freelanced as both a writer and a player. He also appeared on The Cosby Show 1986. The episode entitled ”Play It Again, Russell”, is a reference to ”Play it again, Sam”, a quote from Casablanca (1942). Hampton also played the trombone in Diana Ross Live! The Lady Sings... Jazz & Blues: Stolen Moments (1992) DVD.
In 2005 Slide Hampton was honored at jazz fest in Indianapolis. There the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation inducted him into their Hall of Fame. On June 4th, 2006, with manager/agent and business partner Tony Charles, Hampton promoted his first concert at The Tribecca PAC in New York City (a tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim) and debuted the Slide Hampton Ultra(TM) Big Band. The band is in the process of planning a European tour. Hampton is a resident of North New Jersey.
2009 saw the completion of four new compositions entitled ”A Tribute to African-American Greatness(TM)”. The songs honor Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Venus & Serena Williams and president Barack Obama. The songs contain accompanying lyrics written by Hampton and his song writing partner Tony Charles, arrangements honoring Thelonious Monk, Thad Jones, Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon and Gil Evans complete the program. The album will be recorded in 2010. He recently completed two new Big Band arrangements...”In Case of Emergency” and ”The Drum Song” (both Hampton originals). These two songs (and others) will be available exclusively to Universities and other educational institutions through Slide Hampton Musique Publishing(TM).
Mr Hampton is 2005 NEA Jazz Master and has two GRAMMY(R) awards. One in 1997, with Dee Dee Bridgewater and 2005, with The Vangaurd Jazz Orchestra.