Jazz drummer Chico Hamilton passes away at 92

Obit-Chico Hamilton

SUSAN WALSH/AP

This June 22, 2004 file photo shows Chico Hamilton, a recipient of the he National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship, performing a drum solo in the East Room of the White House during a reception to honor Black Music Month, in Washington.

Foreststorn "Chico" Hamilton, a distinguished jazz drummer, band leader and composer known for inspiring fellow and aspiring musicians, has died. He was 92.

A news release from Hamilton's publicist says he died Monday in New York City.

An NEA Jazz Master saluted as a Living Jazz Legend by the Kennedy Center, Hamilton recorded more than 60 albums as a band leader, beginning in the 1950s, and also appeared in and scored films.

He founded a commercial and film music production company after moving to New York in 1965 and helped found the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Program.

Born in Los Angeles in 1921, he was in a high school band with Charles Mingus and Dexter Gordon and other classmates destined to become jazz innovators.

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