★★★★★ Hamp & Doc: Lynn “Doc” Skinner and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival details the evolution of the annual event and the deep bond between the two men that made it all possible—jazz artist Lionel Hampton and longtime festival director Lynn Doc Skinner. Each February, musicians gather in Moscow, Idaho, for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Established in 1968, the festival has grown to be one of the largest, highly regarded jazz festivals worldwide and has attracted famous performers including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and many others. Hamp & Doc is Skinner’s memoir as told by writer Alan Jay Solan. Peppered throughout the book are a number of festival photos showing a smiling Skinner with Hampton and other performers.
You don’t have to be a musician or even a music enthusiast to thoroughly enjoy this book. Everyone should read Hamp & Doc, if even just to learn the impressive fact that a small city in Idaho is home to one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world. Solan’s writing is highly accessible and engaging—he seamlessly weaves together Skinner’s memories spanning his more than thirty years as festival director. Hamp & Doc gives a behind-the-scenes look at Skinner’s experience at the helm of such a successful music event and, in the process, readers will witness the birth of a deep friendship built on a shared vision. Skinner and Hampton are a dynamic duo, and evidence that great things are born from an unwavering commitment to one’s passions and from working together.