All Star Drummer, Vibes Player, Percussionist, Singer And Entertainer Lionel Hampton

Lionel Hampton was one of the great drummers and entertainer of the big band music era. Photo courtesy of

One of the greatest entertainers in the big band era was Lionel Hampton. Known predominantly for his wonderful vibes playing, Lionel also excelled on the drums, as a front man, singer and even a piano player. I collected a taste of all these attributes in the great Lionel Hampton with videos from throughout his career. Of course I focused a little more on his time behind the drum set, since the conversation is typically about drumming here at Play Drums By Ear, but most well known percussionists are familiar with all sorts of percussive instruments. Most drummers might not realize that percussion instruments also include mallet instruments like the vibraphone, marimba, and xylophone, and even the piano is considered a percussive instrument since there are hammers that hit strings to make the sound of each note. So I collected an array of performance that are sure to impress and entertain and I hope you enjoy them all as much as I did!

Lionel Hampton was the ultimate showman. One of his common, and very impressive, tricks was stick juggling. Check him out on this performance with one tom, a pair of sticks and a kickin band. Enjoy the video at

The video that highlights all of Lionel’s talents is this next one. He plays some vibes, does a little singing, plays the drums, and even kills it on the piano. See what I’m talking about at

Lastly, there’s a great video of a drum battle between Lionel and the great big band drummer Duffy Jackson. I posted it before on a post about Duffy Jackson, but figured you wouldn’t mind seeing it again now that we’re focusing on the other great drummer in the battle, Lionel Hampton. Check it out at

I hope you enjoyed hearing from the very talented drummer, percussionist, and entertainer Lionel Hampton. There’s more coming your way at Play Drums By Ear, so stay tuned.



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