Lionel Hampton was born on April 12th 1913 in Louisville, Kentucky. 1920 he started playing in a children's band, first on the bass drum, then on the drums and kettledrums. Later, he devoted to study the xylophone and then the vibraphone. In the year 1927 he was given a set of drums with built -in flashing lights by his family. Two years later, he entered Paul Howart's band, where he recorded his first record. The year after, he became his first possibility to play one of his solos on record. 1934, he took part of the film "Pennies from Heaven" with Louis Armstrong an Bing Crosby. In the same year, he set up his famous quartet: Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa and himself. In the following years, he played with a lot of famous jazz musicians, exemplary Cootie Williams, Harry James, Ben Webster, Jess Stacy and Jo Jones. During this time, he composed several masterpieces. 1940 he left Benny Goodman and set up his own big band with outstanding soloists, including Bilton Buckner, Illinois Jacqet, Dexter Gordon and his singer Dinah Washington. With this big band he became very popular. He wrote his hits "Hamp's boogie woogie" and "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop", that let the crowds go wild. Hampton did not only play the vibes, he also sometimes played the drums or the piano. He was also a marvellous entertainer. By dancing, singing and laughing while his show, he transmitted his enormous enthusiasm to everyone. With his band, he made several world tours. Although he had difficulties to keep his band in the beginning of the sixties, he managed to keep them together, but in the year 1964, he gave up his big band and started world-tours with smaller groups. Fourteen years later, he set up his big band again and made international performances until he died on April 8th 2002.