June 9, 1991: Lionel Hampton's Final Appearance at Ravinia
Lionel Hampton made his final appearance at Ravinia 25 years ago, by which time he had long established himself as one of the greatest jazz bandleaders of the 20th century. But how he rose to such heights is inextricably tied to Ravinia’s history. In 1938, not long after Benny Goodman “invaded the sanctum” of Carnegie Hall (right), the renowned clarinetist also brought his remarkable band—one of the first race-integrated jazz groups of the time—to Ravinia for a special performance (below) featuring his fellow forward-thinking musicians, including one Lionel Hampton on drums and his signature vibes. Ravinia commemorated the 75th anniversary of this groundbreaking concert, and saluted the impact of its leader, in 2013.