I wanted to note the passing of one of the voices and long time advocates for the Rochester jazz community, Tom Hampson, who died this week at the age of 87. While I was acquainted with Tom and listened to his WXXI Jazz from the Cellar program from time to time, I never had an opportunity to get to know him so don't feel qualified to say much more. Instead, I've gathered a few thoughts from local jazz musicians who knew him much better:
- So sad to hear the news that Tom Hampson has passed away. He was a treasure to the Rochester community and music community at large. Tom was a very successful constitutional and corporate attorney @ Harris-Beach, jazz DJ at WXXI and all around great friend to so many. He was a champion of the Rochester Jazz scene and Eastman Jazz. He was the caretaker of the legal side of Alec Wilder's music and a close personal friend of Marian McPartland. His show 'Mostly Jazz' on WXXI would profile an artist for an entire show. He would tell the stories behind the music and personal anecdotes of his experiences hearing and meeting the greatest artists in the history of jazz. He was a dear friend that cared about people, not just because they played the music he loved. I'll remember him forever. —Bob Sneider
- RIP Tom Hampson. Tom was an amazing guy who had a show on WXXI 1370 for many years. He was one of the most supportive guys to all us jazz musicians in Rochester often dedicating shows just playing our music. Tom also wrote for City Newspaper back in the day and would review gigs and concerts in town. Most importantly he was a great person to talk with. He will be dearly missed. —Mike Melito
You can also read (or listen) about Tom here on WXXI's website.
I encourage others in the jazz community who knew Tom to share their memories of Tom and jazz in Rochester in the comments to this post. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. Given what I've been through for the past six months that I've mentioned in previous posts, you know mine does.