May 18, 2021
Darius Hampton is a musician and music educator based in Chicago. He completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, ultimately earning his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies.
Hampton was the Education Director and Music Library Manager of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble (CJE) in residence at Columbia College Chicago. Hampton developed programs and opportunities for various communities — including K-12 schools, Columbia College and general audiences — to learn from the musicians of the CJE and its special guest performers. At the same time, Hampton supported the performing ensemble and worked closely world-renowned artists, composers and arrangers to realize the artistic vision for dozens of productions. After CJE, Hampton worked with the Center for Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP) also at Columbia College. Here, he continued some of his work carried over from the CJE while also helping to develop and support new and existing CCAP programs.
After departing Columbia, Hampton intensified his work as a performer while he also extended his work as an educator. He made his first recording as a leader, Hear Me, which was released in 2015. He steadily expands the range of music he could play: from jazz to musical theater to all manner of studio work. He served as a teaching artist with Chicago Public Schools’ Advanced Arts Education Program, All-City Performing Arts, Asociacion Nacional de Musica Latino Americana, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, the Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Center for Music Education. Presently, Darius Hampton is Director of Education and Artist Development at the Jazz Institute of Chicago and a Jazz Ensemble Director at Northwestern University.