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Origin:
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Decades:
1928-1977

Hampton Hawes (November 13, 1928 – May 22, 1977) was an American bebop and hard-bop jazz pianist, recognized as one of the finest and most influential of the 1950s.

Hampton Barnett Hawes, Jr. was born November 13, 1928 in Los Angeles, California.[1] His father, Hampton Hawes, Sr., was minister of Westminster Presbysterian Church in Los Angeles. His mother, the former Gertrude Holman, was Westminster's church pianist.

Hawes' first experience at the piano was as a toddler sitting on his mother's lap while she practiced. He was reportedly able to pick out fairly complex tunes by the age of three. Entirely self-taught, by his teens Hawes was playing with the leading jazz musicians on the West Coast, including Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers, and Teddy Edwards. His second professional job, at 19, was playing for eight months with the Howard McGhee Quintet at the Hi De Ho Club, in a group that included Charlie Parker.