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Born in Mansfield, Louisiana, Hall attended Crispus Attucks middle school and later moving to Houston, Texas where he attended Worthing High School, where under the direction from the school band director Sammy D. Harris, tuned his interest to jazz. Hall soon attended Texas Southern University where he studied piano and trumpet, with achieving many soloist awards in big-band competitions. He soon married Lula E. Baker-Hall in 1969, and with so much in common she soon became his road manger. Arnett Cobb soon after discovered him and took him to see Duke Ellington. When the two were introduced, Ellington asked, "How come you're not playing in my band?

Hall joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra on June 8, 1973. After Ellington died the following year, Hall continued to play with the band under the direction Ellington's son, Mercer Ellington. After Mercer Ellington died in 1996, Hall conducted the Duke Ellington Orchestra for one year after and remained the replacement director when Paul Ellington was unable to perform. During his time with Mercer Ellington, Hall was given Cootie Williams's last trumpet by Williams himself before he died and was known as the inheritor of Williams's style of playing

Later in life, Hall was music director at Liberty Baptist Church. With a background in gospel music, he was able to lead the Duke Ellington's Third Sacred Concert in 2001, in which he performed as bandleader with a two hundred-voice choir.[4] Wishing to see more of Ellington's works performed in churches, he brought performances to Yugoslavia to an audience of three thousand in a cathedral, with the music broadcast to an audience of ten thousand people outside the church.

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Barrie Lee Hall, Jr. - Topic

 

In the last six years of his life, Hall traveled to Switzerland every April and was a guest soloist with a big band made up of musicians from the United States which included Shelley Carrol and Randy Brecker. During the last year of his life, he conducted the youth orchestra and was part of the Conrad Johnson Big-Band.


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