Thursday, December 10, 2015
NAPA VALLEY REGISTER -- Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Hamilton moved to the Bay Area as a teenager and, after earning a Music degree at San Francisco State, began a long, successful career as a professional musician. A much-sought-after jazz trombonist, he was a member of several respected U.S. bands and orchestras and made a number of high-profile international appearances, including the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam and the Vienne Jazz Festival in France. As the founder and director of the San Francisco Bay Jazz Band, he led international goodwill tours on behalf of the U.S. State Department. These included stops in Jordan, Vietnam, China and Japan. In 1981, Hamilton was appointed director of the jazz program at Berkeley High School, a position he held for 28 years. He now directs the UC Santa Cruz Jazz Big Band and the high school combo of the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley.