July 25, 2007

Lionel Hampton and the Nez Perce

Jazz legend Hampton had bond with Nez Perce TribeJazz legend Lionel Hampton had a special relationship with the Nez Perce people.

It started near the end of his life, in the 1990s when he was in his 80s and first visited the reservation to perform for school children during the University of Idaho jazz festival.

Five years after his death, his touch continues to reverberate. One of the people Hampton's music reached is Andre Picard, a Nez Perce musician whose family connected with Hampton.

He was there when Hampton was made an honorary member of the tribe. He was there during Hampton's final shows on the reservation when the performer counted on band members to shout out the lyrics of "What a Wonderful World" because he could no longer remember.

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