Col. Bruce Hampton Passes Away At 70

Col. Bruce Hampton, legendary musician, actor and father of the modern Jam scene, passed away during his own 70th Birthday party tonight at The Fox Theater in Atlanta.

Col. Bruce Hampton

Known for his pranks and jokes, many are hoping this is some sort of elaborate hoax. However, multiple sources have all confirmed the unfortunate passing of the incredibly talented musician.


An elaborate concert was being held at the Fox Theater by a who’s who of musicians to celebrate The Colonel’s Birthday. During the encore of “Lovelight”,  with almost all of the ensemble of musicians onstage, Col Bruce turned a solo over to Brandon Niederauer and promptly collapsed. Sources have said that he did regain a pulse while onsite as EMTs arrived.

In addition to his uncanny ability to find talent in people and to bring it out, Hampton was a lifelong fan of the avant-garde. He was a prankster. He took great joy in making others stop and try and figure out if something was real or a joke. It was perhaps the most fitting tribute to his amazing life – that he collapsed on a stage filled with some of the most phenomenal musical talent around and that they all, for at least a few moments, thought he was playing another prank.

He was taken to Crawford Long Hospital where he has apparently passed away.

Col Bruce Hampton was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on April 30th, 1947. His first success came with The Hampton Grease Band with which he garnered coveted opening spots for acts such as The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead and many more.

Col. Bruce Hampton & ARU

With his later band, The Aquarium Rescue Unit, he helped to start the H.O.R.D.E. Tour which has led to him being held up as sparking the resurgence of jam band music.

Other bands have included The Fiji Mariners, The Codetalkers, Col. Bruce And The Madrid Express as well as solo acts, movies and a constant presence on Jam Cruise every year.

This is a rapidly developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Col Bruce Hampton Hampton 70 Party Lineup

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