Vibraphone, used by Lionel Hampton

Vibraphone, used by Lionel Hampton

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This vibraphone, used by Lionel Hampton, was made by Musser in Elkhardt, Indiana, around 1980. It is a three-octave, M75 Century model, with gold finished bars, gold lacquered resonators, and covered wood end panels.

American jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, and bandleader Lionel Leo Hampton (1908 - 2002) began his music career playing drums and took up the vibraphone in the late 1920s. After stints with Louis Armstrong, Nat Shilkret and his Orchestra, and the Benny Goodman Orchestra, Hampton formed his own orchestra in the early 1940s and would lead various incarnations of his group well into the late 1980s. Hampton donated this vibraphone to the Smithsonian in 2001 shortly before his death.

Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1980
Hampton, Lionel
place made
United States: Indiana, Elkhart
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 145 cm x 76 cm x 89 cm; 57 3/32 in x 29 29/32 in x 35 1/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Lionel Hampton
African American
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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