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Humphrey, Bobbi [Barbara Ann]locked

  • Yoko Suzuki

(b Marlin, TX, April 25, 1950). American jazz and rhythm-and-blues flutist, singer, bandleader, composer, and producer. She started to play flute in the Lincoln High School band in Dallas. Studying both classical and jazz flute, she continued her musical training at Texas Southern University and Southern Methodist University. In 1971 she moved to New York, where a relative, Eddie Preston, played trumpet with Duke Ellington. Because of this connection, she had the opportunity to play with Ellington’s band. She also competed in the Apollo Theater’s amateur night, winning first place for seven consecutive weeks. Blue Note Records signed Humphrey in 1971 and had recorded six of her albums by 1976, including Blacks and Blues (1973, BN). She performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1973 and 1977. She also appeared on “Another Star” from Stevie Wonder’s album Songs in the Key of Life (1975–1976, Tamia). After switching to Epic she recorded three more albums for that label: Tailor Made (1977, Epic), Free Style (1978, Epic), and The Good Life (1979, Epic). In 1994 she founded her own label, Paradise Records, for which she recorded an album which was reissued in 2008.

Bibliography

  • R. Townley: “Bobbi Humphrey,” DB, 41/11 (1974), 32–3
  • D.A. Handy: Black Women in American Bands and Orchestras (Metuchen, 1981, 2/1998)
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