Colonel Bruce Hampton died on Monday night after collapsing on stage during his own birthday celebration.
Hampton was close to wrapping up his birthday concert featuring members of Phish, Widespread Panic and Leftover Salmon, among others when he collapsed on stage at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.
Hampton had an illustrious career which he started back in the late 60’s with the Hampton Grease Band, which toured with The Grateful Dead. However, his biggest recognition came during early 90s when he led the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Hampton was widely credited with helping inspire and foster a new wave of improvisational “jam band” artists.
For last several months, he was leading a weekly residency at the Vista Room in Atlanta and the owner Mike Rizzi talked about the joy Hampton brought in the community. Talking about the artist, he said, “A Col. Bruce show brings a lot of joy and excitement. Especially in the world we live in right now. You forget about things when you walk through the door.”