Hamp & Doc: A Memoir - Lionel Hampton Jazz Fest (Paperback)
The memoir, “Hamp and Doc,” tells the story of an unparalleled friendship between two musicians who share a love for jazz.
Music and magic came together in Moscow, Idaho when jazz legend Lionel Hampton fell in love with music educator Lynn “Doc” Skinner’s idea: let students from remote areas of the country come to the University of Idaho’s jazz festival and learn directly from the greats.
With only that dream, the two men went on to grow what had been a modest annual event into a world-class celebration of music, education, love, and life—developing a deep and profound friendship. That accomplishment is at the heart of Hamp & Doc: “Doc” Skinner and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival—Skinner’s memoir, as told to Alan Solan, former arts and entertainment editor at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, who covered the festival for many years.
Hamp & Doc is packed with previously unheard stories about some of the biggest names in jazz (Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Hank Jones, and many more), rare photos from Skinner’s personal collection, a behind-the-scenes look at his thirty-one years directing the festival, and inspiring anecdotes about his early life as a musical prodigy growing up in a loving Mormon family in southern Idaho. But most of all, Hamp & Doc is a celebration. Skinner and Hampton created an unforgettable experience for hundreds of thousands of students, many of whom went on to become renowned musicians in their own right.
At last, there is a fitting testament to this incredible legacy.
About the Author
Lynn J. “Doc” Skinner was born in Nounan, Idaho, in 1940. After earning his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in music from Utah State University, he was director of music for the Rexburg-Madison (Idaho) School District for nine years. In 1971, he was hired as a music professor at the University of Idaho in Moscow, and in 1976, he took over the university’s jazz festival, which was renamed the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in 1985.
Under Skinner’s leadership, and with the support of Hampton, the festival experienced unprecedented growth for decades. In 2007, the year Skinner retired as executive director, the festival was awarded the National Medal of Arts, making it the first and only festival to receive the honor. Skinner lives in Moscow, Idaho, with his wife Pamela.