"My eyes were about to pop out of my sockets ... an incredible view of a beautiful crimson sky with a silhouette of the Eiffel Tower in the background."Read more here!

Back in 1953, when I was just a kid, I had the great honor of becoming a touring musician in the Lionel Hampton Band. It was the most glorious time for me because not only was I playing with one of my idols … being on the road was like getting to attend a traveling music university.

After playing from city to city, we finally made our way over to the Palais d’Orsay station via train from Switzerland. I was so anxious because Paris was one of the places I couldn’t wait to see … A jazz musician’s DREAM! We got there around 8 o’clock, & maaan, I remember the moment that this photo of me, Buster, & Clifford captured as clear as day. My eyes were about to pop out of my sockets because what this picture unfortunately can’t show was the incredible view of a beautiful crimson sky with a silhouette of the Eiffel Tower in the background. I’m tellin’ you it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen!! … & the city didn’t disappoint either. It welcomed us with open arms, which was in contrast to how we were treated back home in the U.S. at the time.

Paris has been like a second home to me since then, & I (was) incredibly excited to return there again on June 27th for my very own show with a live symphony orchestra. It (was) truly a full circle moment for me!


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Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée | With the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union With the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union

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