Dawn Hampton was an American cabaret and jazz singer, saxophonist, dancer, and songwriter. Hampton began her lifelong career as a musical entertainer touring the Midwest as a three-year-old member of the Hampton family’s band, The Hampton Sisters in the late 1930s.

During World War II and into early 1950s, she performed as part of a quartet with her three sisters and in a jazz band with all nine of her surviving siblings.

Joseph Sewell & Dawn Hampton
Joseph Sewell & Dawn Hampton

Dawn moved to New York City in 1958 to pursue a solo career as a cabaret singer. She became a singer/songwriter and dancer, which included off-Broadway theatre performances and swing dancing in Hollywood films. In 1992, along with Frankie Manning and Sonny Allen, she appeared as a dancer in the Lindy Hop swing dance scene in Spike Lee‘s movie, Malcolm X

In the 2000s, during a time of renewed interest in swing dancing, she continued to perform as a dancer and teacher. She taught dance workshops all over the world and was renowned and revered for her incredible musicality.

Jiveswing’s Joseph was lucky enough to spend time with Dawn over several years and learn from her.  Here he is dancing with Dawn in Sweden.

Dawn passed away on September 25, 2016 at the age of eighty-eight, but her inspiration still flows through the swing dance community. 

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