A music performer, composer, and educator who lives and works in Chicago, DARIUS HAMPTON plays saxophones and other woodwind instruments. He is a member of the musical Hampton family, among whom are Russell "Lucky" Hampton; trombonist Slide Hampton; and cousin, Pharez Whitted. Darius learned piano by ear, joined his elementary school band, starting first on the clarinet before moving to the saxophone. He starting playing his first professional gigs at age 15 and continued to play with peers and professionals in formats ranging from jazz to rock to salsa. Following his formal education, Darius Hampton joined the administrative staff of The Chicago Jazz Ensemble as the Music Librarian, maintaining the vast catalog built principally by CJE founder William Russo and coordinating the music performed in each of the CJE's concerts; he was soon elevated to Education Director. With the CJE, Darius worked with artists such as Randy Brecker, Paquito D'Rivera, Frank Foster, Regina Carter, David Sanchez, Steve Turre, and Branford Marsalis among many others. He managed the Louis Armstrong Legacy Program and Celebration, Straight Ahead Jazz Summer Camp (a collaborative effort with the Jazz Institute of Chicago), and public Listening Sessions with renowned artists who join the CJE for performances. Released earlier this year, Hear Me is his debut album, featuring many of his original compositions. Joining Darius are ALIF MUHAMMAD, piano; JOHN LAULER, bass; and MARCUS EVANS, drums.