Oberlin Honors Bass Legend with June 16 "Milt Hinton Day"

June 6, 2016
Erich Burnett
Milt Hinton with his base
Photo credit: The Milton J. Hinton Photographic Collection

For an incredible seven decades, Milt Hinton played bass with the most influential artists in American music, all while chronicling his experiences through photography. In recent years, Oberlin Conservatory has celebrated its ties to the late performer with the Milt Hinton Institute for Studio Bass, a biennial summer program for developing musicians that takes place on the Oberlin campus June 12 to 19.

At the heart of the program is Milt Hinton Day, a daylong celebration of the life and legacy of Hinton through film, music, and more. Free and open to the public, Milt Hinton Day takes place Thursday, June 16, in multiple venues on campus.

Following is a complete list of Milt Hinton Day activities:

1 p.m.: Hinton Up Close: The Milton J. and Mona C. Hinton Photographic Collection
Museum-quality photographs taken by the legendary bassist provide an insider’s perspective on jazz across the 20th century. With curatorial assistant Oidie Kuijpers, Hinton biographer David Berger, and Holly Maxson. (At the Allen Memorial Art Museum, 2nd floor, 87 N. Main St.)

2:30 p.m.: Special Collections Tour
Special Collections Librarian Jeremy Smith and David Berger lead a fascinating journey through Hinton’s life using artifacts from the Hinton Collection. (Begins at the conservatory student lounge; enter at 41 S. Professor St.)

4:30 p.m.: Film and Q&A. Keeping Time: The Life, Music and Photographs of Milt Hinton
This 60-minute film captures Hinton’s compelling life story. His lifelong passion to document his world musically and visually provides a unique portrait of life in 20th-century America. The film will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Hinton Institute faculty and guest speakers. (In Hallock Auditorium at Adam Joseph Lewis Center, 122 Elm St.)

7:30 p.m.: Hinton Celebration Concert
Featuring faculty of the 2016 Hinton Institute. (In Warner Concert Hall, 43 S. Professor St.)

10 p.m.: Jam Session and Reception
(In Warner Concert Hall Lobby)

In addition, the Hinton Institute will present a pair of free public programs in conjunction with the city of Oberlin's annual Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 18: an 11:30 a.m. concert on Tappan Square featuring Hinton Institute faculty John Clayton Jr., Bob Hurst, and Mimi Jones; and a 7:30 p.m. student performance in Warner Concert Hall, including small bass ensembles and a bass orchestra, conducted by John Clayton Jr., Inez Wyrick, and John Kennedy.

Designed for bass students ages 13-21 of all ability levels, the Milt Hinton Institute for Studio Bass consists of a week of master classes, performances, bass ensembles, studio sessions, lectures, and workshops. It focuses on a comprehensive range of genres: classical, early music, jazz, slap, Latin, and electric. Directed by Oberlin Professor of Jazz Studies and Double Bass Peter Dominguez, the Hinton Institute features a host of the nation’s finest teachers and performers across a variety of styles: John Clayton Jr., Max Dimoff, Scott Dixon, Diana Gannett, Robert Hurst III, Mimi Jones, John Kennedy, Audrey Melzer, Tracy Rowell, Donovan Stokes, Inez Wyrick, and Derek Zadinsky.

Learn more about the 2016 Hinton Institute here.

ABOUT THE OBERLIN/MILT HINTON CONNECTION: In 2013, Oberlin Conservatory acquired four basses from the collection of legendary bassist Milt Hinton, including the Italian instrument Hinton bought in the late 1930s and played throughout his career. In addition, the Hinton estate donated to Oberlin a voluminous collection of papers amassed by Hinton and his wife Mona—everything from personal journals, to correspondence with music legends, to contracts from memorable shows. Part of Oberlin's expansive Special Collections, the Milton J. and Mona C. Hinton Papers bolster Oberlin's role as a world leader in the study of jazz. Inaugurated in 2014, the biennial Milt Hinton Institute for Studio Bass takes place on campus in June.

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