6 The Lionel Hampton School of Music

The Lionel Hampton School of Music

Rebekka Boysen-Taylor

Lionel Hampton, a Black jazz singer, and others stand in front of the Lionel Hampton School of Music signage at the University of Idaho.
Lionel Hampton Speaking at School of Music Dedication

Take a few minutes to just look at the image above.


What do you see in the image?

What questions do you have about what you see?

How does this connect to things you already know or are learning about?

Read the article that accompanied the image to learn more…






Context Given:

The first University of Idaho Jazz Festival, held in 1967, was one day long and featured one jazz artist performing at an evening concert and 15 student groups participating in competitions during the day. The relationship between Lionel Hampton and the Festival began in 1984 when Hampton and his New York Big Band made their first appearance. He and the band returned each year after that to perform and teach.

In 1987, the School of Music was renamed for this eminent American jazz musician, the first music school to be named for a jazz musician — and remains the only one named for an African American jazz musician. In 1994, the Festival was named for him as well.

Some other words for expanded context…

Whose stories are included here?

Who is telling the story?

Expanded Context:

This chapter combines local and national artifacts to build context around the naming of the Lionel Hampton School of Music. Sometimes expanding the context for an object is about including other items alongside that help nuance and complicate the narrative. In this text, we’ve included two other resources that help expand the discussion of jazz on the Palouse with contributions from folks like Mildred Bailey and the Nez Percians. How might you use these previous sources to help expand and challenge students’ visions of jazz and jazz on the Palouse?




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Idaho Histories Copyright © 2023 by Rebekka Boysen-Taylor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.