Featured Artists for
Each month we like to highlight one dancer and one musician who have been important to the history and culture of Lindy Hop & Jazz in general. In their own way, each of these artists exemplify greatness in jazz.
Dawn Hampton (June 9, 1928 – September 25, 2016) was an American cabaret and jazz singer, saxophonist, dancer, and songwriter. Hampton began her lifelong career as a musical entertainer touring the Midwest as a three-year-old member of the Hampton family's band The Hampton Sisters in the late 1930s. During World War II and into early 1950s, she performed as part of a quartet with her three sisters and in a jazz band with all nine of her surviving siblings. Hampton moved to New York City in 1958 to pursue a solo career as a cabaret singer. She became a singer/songwriter and dancer, which included off-Broadway theatre performances and swing dancing in Hollywood films. Along with other members of the musical Hamptons, she was a recipient of the State of Indiana's Governor Arts Award (1991) and honored at the Indy Jazz Fest (2000) in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and leader of his eponymous jazz orchestra from 1923 through the rest of his life.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s and gained a national profile through his orchestra's appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. A master at writing miniatures for the three-minute 78 rpm recording format, Ellington wrote or collaborated on more than one thousand compositions; his extensive body of work is the largest recorded personal jazz legacy, and many of his pieces have become standards. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol's "Caravan", which brought a Spanish tinge to big band jazz.