Dee Daniels honors Hampton

By Shawn O'Neal, Moscow-Pullman Daily News

When you are Dee Daniels it can be tough to get from the Kibbie Dome stage to a comfortable seat.

The walk is short but there are friends, acquaintances and fans all looking for a little face time.

"She's a popular gal." one fan said after shaking Daniels' hand following her concert Thursday a the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.
Popular and intent, it seemed, on spending a moment with anyone who wanted one. The most notable person she didn't get time with at the Dome was Hampton himself. Thursday marked Daniels' 11th appearance at the Moscow festival, but it was her first Kibbie Dome appearance not witnessed by Hampton.

Expected to get into town about 5 p.m., Hampton's flight from New York did not land until just after 8 p.m. By that time he opted for a night's rest instead of pushing to make the performance.

What he missed was Daniels' tribute to him - a soulful rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which was the first song Hampton ever heard Daniels sing.

"In talking with (festival director Lynn Skinner) last year about the tribute he'd like to give Lionel he asked me to come up with something special," Daniels told the audience. "I came to the conclusion that I was going to perform this song because I know he really likes it, so we're going to share it with you."
The performance brought the crowd to its feet, as it had been a couple of times earlier in the night for Clark Terry and David "Fathead" Newman.

It was the third and final song of Daniels' quick set, which also included "Look of Love" and "Love is Here."

Daniels simply was happy Hampton could make it to the festival.
"I'm just extremely glad he's in town," Daniels said. "I know it means an awful lot to him."

Daniels seems to mean a great deal to area jazz fans. Backstage a teen-age girl approached the Vancouver, British Columbia resident for an autograph and couldn't stand still as the singer personalized the signature and sealed the encounter with a hug.