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Image for Lionel Hampton

Lionel Hampton

Lionel Hampton (musician, born April 20, 1908, Louisville, Kentucky; died August 31, 2002) Lionel Hampton made jazz richer by one instrument when, on the spur of the moment, he added the unknown vibraphone to a recording. Ever since, he's been the leading player of that percussion instrument, changing the sound of jazz forever. The year was 1930. The place was a recording studio in California. The 17-year-old Hampton already had quite a reputation as a drummer with the Les Hite band when Louis Armstrong arrived in Hollywood, minus a drummer, to record some of his arrangements.