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Tuesday, May 2

In Memoriam Col. Bruce Hampton. The Godfather of Jam died on stage at a concert honoring his 70th birthday.

In Memoriam: Col. Bruce Hampton.    The Godfather of Jam died on stage at a concert honoring his 70th birthday. 

    I am completely speechless. The world truly lost  one of a kind last night. Col. Bruce Hampton died last night at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta towards the end of a concert celebrating his 70th birthday. Hampton fell to the ground surrounded by the entire all-star cast while the show was ending with "Turn on your Lovelight". His death was confirmed a short time later by his family who released this statement. 

After collapsing on stage surrounded by his friends, family, fans and the people he loved Col. Bruce Hampton has passed away. The family is asking for respect and privacy at this difficult time.

   Bruce busted onto the music scene as the leader of the Hampton Grease Band in the late 1960s. In the early 1990s he formed one of the best and influential bands of all time in Aquarium Rescue Unit. That band had such talents as Jimmy Herring, Jeff Sipe, Matt Mundy, Oteil Burbridge and Count M'Butu. A.R.U got its start at Atlanta jam sessions and landed a spot on the first H.O.R.D.E Tour of 1992. Bruce recently got A.R.U together for a reunion and I had the pleasure of interviewing him. He was as quirky and more of a genius than I had hoped. He was one of a kind, that much he made sure of in our brief conversation. He was a staple on jamcruise and although he would argue he was more a blues man, he was a patriarch of our beloved jam scene. Friend, ARU member and concert participant Rev. Jeff Mosier posted the following on his public Facebook page

"He died at Crawford Long Hospital here in Atlanta just a while ago. I feel so blessed to have been there tonight and be a part of the greatest gathering of friends and loved ones. I’ve never seen Bruce happier. I’ve never been sadder. I’ve dreaded this day for years, but could have never imagined a more joyful departure. I feel so lost.”

      Col.Bruce Hampton left this earth surrounded by his best friends and doing the one thing he absolutely loved while his fans applauded. We all could be so lucky. Rest Easy Col. and thanks.