Playing the Changes: The Life and Legacy of Milt Hinton will be on display August 15 through September 13, 2019, in the Leedell Moorehead-Graham Gallery of the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts building. Hosted by the Department of Art and Design at the University of Pine Bluff (UAPB), a reception will be held at the gallery September 5 from 5-7 p.m.
Playing the Changes, an exhibition of fifty photographs taken by the late Milt Hinton, provides an unrivaled perspective on his life as a jazz legend. One of the 20th century’s most accomplished bass players, Hinton was also an accomplished photographer who documented his life on tour. The exhibit, developed by Oberlin College and the Milton J. Hinton Photographic Collection, combines Hinton’s most acclaimed original photographs taken between the 1930s-1990s with insightful biographical materials drawn from the Milton J. and Mona C. Hinton Collection in the Oberlin Conservatory Library’s special collections.
Affectionately called The Judge, Hinton was lauded as a highly versatile bassist who came of age in the swing era and became one of the favorite bassists of post-World War II jazz. A Vicksburg, Mississippi native, Hinton grew up in Chicago, where he began playing bass in high school and then worked with jazz bands in the early to mid-1930s, most notably with violinist Eddie South. He made his reputation as one of the most potent bassists in jazz for 15 years (1936–51) with Cab Calloway’s band, in which he became noted for his full tone and rhythmic vigor. A master of slap bass, Hinton had a fluid and technical style that was unmatched. He subsequently toured with Louis Armstrong and Count Basie before work with CBS in New York City led to his second career in recording and television studios.
Apart from frequent work in popular music, Hinton maintained an active jazz career with Dixieland, swing, and modern groups. His talent and professionalism made him highly sought after, and he performed with Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Billie Holiday, among others.
For more information about the exhibit, contact the Department of Art and Design at (870) 575-8236.