Magazine article Sunset

On a Riff in Moscow, Idaho

Magazine article Sunset

On a Riff in Moscow, Idaho

Article excerpt

Jazz legends share their secrets at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Think jazz and a few big cities come to mind: New Orleans, Chicago, New York. But Moscow, Idaho?

Believe it. At the University of Idaho, a 110-yearold land-grant institution in the fertile farmland known as the Palouse, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival has been a magnet for students, teachers, musicians, and jazz-starved Westerners since 1966. Concerts, competitions, clinics, and distinguished guests such as Wynton Marsalis and Lionel Nash make this four-day festival one of the most popular in the country; last year, 15,000 students attended clinics. "We got the people coming here to learn," says vibes player, band leader, and festival producer Lionel "Gates" Hampton. `And we teach 'em."

Designed to educate young musicians and audiences, festival clinics are open to students of all ages. Daily sessions feature musicians such as bassist Ray Brown and vocalist Diana Krall discussing technique and musicianship. At night, pros like pianist Freddy Cole and Hampton himself play favorites like "Willow Weep for Me" and "Hey Ba-Ba-Rebop. …

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