Julius Hemphill

He was a jazz composer, saxophone player, and lived in Fort Worth, Texas, from February 24, 1938 to April 2, 1995. He played mainly alto saxophone, but he also performed on flute and tenor saxophones. Hemphill was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, which is also the hometown of Ornette Cole. He studied clarinet before learning the saxophone. Gerry Mulligan was an early inspiration. Hemphill enlisted in the United States Army in 1964. He served several years and then performed briefly with Ike Turner. Hemphill made the move to St. Louis in 1968 and founded the Black Artists Group (BAG). This multidisciplinary arts group brought him in contact with artists like Oliver Lake and Hamiet Bluet, as well as trumpeters Baikida and Floyd LeFlore and poet J. Curtis Lyle. Julius Hemphill and Oliver Lake joined forces with David Murray in 1976 to create the World Saxophone Quartet. Hemphill remained with the group until 1990, when he was forced to leave due to illness. Hemphill’s lasting mark on jazz is perhaps the World Saxophone Quartet. It has shaped the sound and had an influence on many musicians since the 1980s. Text contributed by users is available under Creative Commons By–SA License. It may also be available under GNU FDL.

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