Stephanie Jordan and Jason Marsalis with Lionel Hampton Big Band at Official Centennial Birthday Celebration


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NEW ORLEANS, April 9, 2008 - New Orleans jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan and vibraphonist Jason Marsalis are scheduled to perform with the Lionel Hampton Big Band on Saturday, April 19, 2008 at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans.

On the same day, the museum will also debut an exhibition focusing on Lionel Hampton to coincide with the centennial anniversary of Hampton's birth on April 20, 1908. His birthday will also mark the publication by State Street Press of “Flying Home Lionel Hampton: Celebrating 100 Years of Good Vibes" by Stanley Crouch, foreword by Wynton Marsalis.

“We are thrilled and honored to kick off the exhibition and official centennial celebration with the Lionel Hampton Big Band performing two concerts on April 19 at the Ogden museum," says Tim Francis, trustee of the Lionel Hampton Estate. The swinging sounds will be right at home at the Ogden and in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz.

At the celebration, there will be an unveiling of a major new painting of Hampton, titled “Flying Home," created for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art's permanent collection by noted national artist Frederick J. Brown.

On April 20, the Ogden will host a panel discussion with members of Lionel Hampton's Big Band and a book launch for “Flying Home Lionel Hampton: Celebrating 100 Years of Good Vibes."

The exhibition, “Lionel Hampton: A Centennial Celebration," will feature more than 30 photographs from the Lionel Hampton Archives at the University of Idaho/Moscow and other important historic, personal and musical artifacts. The photographs and other items will give viewers a visual overview of Hampton's life and his widespread influence. The university established the Lionel Hampton School of Music in 1987 and hosts the annual Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival every February.

“The Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans is pleased to host this exhibition and celebration. And we are grateful that the University of Idaho has so generously allowed us to exhibit photographs from its collection, as well as loan us other important items owned by Hampton," says Rick Gruber, executive director of the Ogden. “The party on April 19 will be more than a celebration of Lionel Hampton's life, it will show the world what a great spirit and a genuine icon he is."

Lionel Hampton is one of the legendary figures in jazz. A musical innovator, he played the vibraphone and drums, composed the jazz standard “Flying Home" and others, and led his own orchestra. His collaboration with musical greats such as Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Dinah Washington, Stan Getz and Quincy Jones enshrined him in the annals of jazz, but he was also a social activist, a goodwill ambassador for the United States and an important educator

Jordan, whom critics have placed in the company of Nancy Wilson and Diana Krall, began to receive national recognition following her stunning performance during the nationally televised Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. Her recent rendition of the national anthem at the 2008 NBA All-Star Game lead critic Chris Rose to proclaim “Local chanteuse Stephanie Jordan set the anthem on a slow burn Sunday night, delivering the most smoldering rendition of the song since Marvin Gaye performed it at another NBA All-Star Game more than 20 years ago . . ."

The Stephanie Jordan Large Band will be a featured performer at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell on Saturday, May 3rd at 1:00 pm in the WWOZ Jazz Tent., filling the tent with a Big Band sound as she continues her signature trademark of singing jazz standards.

Jordan was most recently inducted into New Orleans Magazine Jazz All-Stars, and She is the fifth performer to emerge from a family of New Orleans bred musicians. As the daughter of saxophonist Sir Edward “Kidd" Jordan, Stephanie's musical roots run deep. Her siblings include flutist Kent, trumpeter Marlon, and classical violinist Rachel Jordan.

From a tender young age it was clear that Jason Marsalis had what it took to be great. Jason is the son of pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis and his wife Dolores, and the youngest sibling of Wynton, Branford and Delfeayo.

While Marsalis has worked with such international jazz luminaries as Joe Henderson and Lionel Hampton, he remains visible on the New Orleans scene as well, working with a diverse cross section of bands from Casa Samba (Brazilian) to Neslort (jazz fusion). He is also a co-founder of the Latin jazz group Los Hombres Calientes. In addition, he regularly hosts a local jazz jam where he plays vibraphone.

The sense of style and tastefulness that Marsalis exhibits in his playing explains why he is a highly sought after musician. This style has been well documented on recordings with artists such as the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Marcus Printup and Marcus Roberts to name but a few. He has also produced two albums under his own name, Year of the Drummer (1998) and Music in Motion (2000), as well as producing a reissue of his father's earlier recorded work, Syndrome (1996). In addition, Marsalis is a respected clinician.

Lionel Hampton Big Band with special guests vocalist Stephanie Jordan and Jason Marsalis on the vibes.

Concert times: 7 p.m. show (SOLD OUT); 9 p.m.

Tickets: $50 reserved seating with a complimentary copy of “Flying Home Lionel Hampton: Celebrating 100 Years of Good Vibes"; $25 general admission.

Where: Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., New Orleans, La. To reserve a ticket and information: 504/539-9614

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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