Legendary American Jazz Tranbonist and Composer Slide Hampton dies at 89

By | November 22, 2021

Locksley Wellington “Slide” Hampton Death – 89-year-old, Slide Hampton, a resident of East Orange, New Jersey, an American jazz trombonist, composer, and arranger. Described by critics as a master composer, arranger, and uniquely gifted trombone player, passed away on November 20, 2021. Born Locksley Wellington Hampton, on April 21, 1932, in Jeannette, Pennsylvania by Laura and Clarke “Deacon.” They were 12 children in the family and were all trained and taught how to play instruments and set out as a family band by their parents. The family first came to Indianapolis in 1938. The Hamptons were a musical family which consist of the mother, and twelve children, all playing instruments. Slide Hampton was a left-handed trombone player.

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 Buddy Johnson’s R&B band from 1955–1956, then became a member of Maynard Ferguson’s band (1957–1959), where he played and arranged, providing excitement on such popular tunes. In 1958, he recorded with trombone masters on the classic release of Melba Liston. 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 World of Trombones, his own nine-trombone, three-rhythm band; co-led Continuum, a quintet with Jimmy Heath that plays the music of Tadd Dameron; and freelanced as a writer and a player. In 1986 Hampton appeared in “Play It Again, Russell,” an episode of The Cosby Show.  On June 4, 2006, Hampton promoted his first concert at The Tribeca PAC in New York City.

He recorded four compositions in 2009 titled “A Tribute to African-American Greatness”. The songs honored Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and Barack Obama. He was also a Grammy winner in 2005 for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album,” The Way: Music of Slide Hampton, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (Planet Arts), and received another nomination in 2006 for his arrangement of “Stardust” for the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band. In 2005 Hampton was honored at the jazz festival in Indianapolis. There the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation inducted him into their Hall of Fame. The National Endowment for the Arts honored Slide Hampton™ with its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award in 2005.

A Twitter user Jordan Hoffman @jhoffman shared a tribute on Twitter for the death of the legend “Awww, just heard on WBGO that Slide Hampton has died. Saw him at an impressionable age (with Clark Terry!) at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. RIP to one of the greats.”

Slide Hampton’s obituary will be organized by the family.